HORNCHURCH 2 THURROCK 0
HFC – Mott, Collis, Chouman, Styles ©, Cooper, Morrish, Bentley, Lee, Knight (Freeman 83), Purcell (Agombar 90+2), Thompson (Woodward 86)
Sub – Da Cruz
TFC – Behcet, Morgan, Clark, Halle ©, Gleed (Stimson 55), Goode, Christou, Poole, Wall, Winn (Gordon 77), Appiah
Subs – Janilionis, Berkowitz, Wheatley
Officials – Steve Bates with Jack Birch and James Kersten
Scorers – Purcell 37, Styles 47
Bookings – Poole 59 (T) – Styles 59 (T) – Collis 62 (H) – Halle 79 (T)
Duration – 46.00 + 49.00
HFC – red and white stripes / black / black
T – blue, yellow / blue / blue
Weather – sunny , 22 degrees
HORNCHURCH 2 THURROCK 0
There was one change from the team that started at Bowers, Jed Chouman coming in at left back.
Hornchurch made a good start, in sunny conditions, and kicking towards the windmill end of the ground, when George Purcell played a good ball to Alex Bentley, and ex-Hornchurch goalkeeper Darren Behcet made a good save to keep the ball out of the net.
Purcell then sent a good pass to Abs Thompson, who pulled the ball back into the middle to Purcell, but his header was wide.
Thurrock had a half chance when James Morrish conceded a free kick, but Sam Mott safely held Chris Goode’s shot.
Hornchurch had an escape then a corner fell invitingly to Joe Christou, and his shot was cleared off he line by Alex Bentley.
Hornchurch began to take control and when Thompson charged down a defensive clearance, he raced towards goal and his shot, from a narrow angle, was well saved by Behcet.
Behcet then punched a Collis corner away to safety, before Elliot Styles conceded a free kick, and the ball fell to Richard Halle, but his shot was charged down and the danger was quickly cleared.
Hornchurch took the lead on 37 minutes. A Dave Collis throw found Thompson, and he centred the ball into the middle, where Kenzer Lee touched it on to George Purcell, and the all-time leading scorer fired it hard into the net.
Hornchurch could have increased their lead when Thompson made a solo run and his shot was only a fraction wide of the target.
With the last kick of the half, Purcell sent the ball over to Knight, and Behcet made another excellent save from his close-range header.
Two minutes into the second half and it was the turn of this season’s leading scorer, Elliot Styles, when he volleyed powerfully home from a Collis corner to give Hornchurch a two goal advantage.
Thurrock briefly rallied, with a long run along the wing by Ronnie Winn, and his shot was turned around the post for a corner.
Thurrock grew increasingly desperate, and play was halted for a midfield incident, in which both Styles and Glen Poole were booked, and three minutes later Collis was booked for making a clearance after the whistle had already blown.
A Thompson run ended in another corner, and Collis floated the ball into the middle, where Behcet saved Kenzer Lee’s header.
At the other end, Mott saved from Poole, and the resulting corner found Halle, whose header was cleared off the line by Bentley.
For the next five minutes, Hornchurch withstood some heavy pressure, but the Thurrock threat was stifled and they had little opportunity to come forward as Hornchurch took control of the midfield.
Halle was booked for a foul on Knight, and the free kick, taken by Collis, found Nathan Cooper, but his header went over the bar.
Hornchurch had no difficulty in playing out the final few minutes to record a well-earned three points.