PHOENIX SPORTS 1 HORNCHURCH I
PHOENIX SPORTS: Phillips, Bedford ©, Probets, Goodchild, Barry, Mingle, Hopkins, Carvell, Poku (Bola 80), Fairweather-Johnson, Golding (Pattison 67)
Subs – Campbell, McFarlane, Bryon
HFC: Mott, Bentley, Da Cruz, Goodacre ©, Cooper, Morrish, Thompson (Hursit 87), Lee, McKenzie, Agombar (Collis 80), Coley
Subs – Kone, Chouman, Styles
Officials – Mike Marsh with Jak Hill and Peter Conn
Scorers – Da Cruz 19 (H) – Bedford 34p (P)
Bookings – Barry 50 (P) – Probets 60 (P) – Bedford 69 (P)
Duration 46.00 + 49.00
PHOENIX SPORTS 1 HORNCHURCH I
Despite the absence of three key players, Elliot Styles, David Knight and George Purcell, Hornchurch did enough to have taken all three points against top-of-the-table Phoenix Sports, who threatened only on rare occasions.
Hornchurch started confidently, and when Ayrton Coley sent a good cross towards the right wing, Abs Thompson placed his shot a fraction wide of the post.
Harry Agombar sent over the first corner of the match, and Leon McKenzie outjumped the home defence but glanced his header wide.
JJ Da Cruz almost gave Hornchurch a surprise lead when his shot-cum-clearance from the half way line caught Steve Phillips off his line, but he was able to grab the ball close to the goal line.
But it was JJ Da Cruz who put Hornchurch into a deserved lead when Agombar’s corner was cleared, only for the ball to be promptly headed back into the goalmouth, where Nathan Cooper headed on to McKenzie, who headed on to JJ Da Cruz, whose header looped into the net.
Five minutes later, Thompson conceded a penalty with a mistimed challenge, and Russell Bedford put Phoenix level from the spot.
Hornchurch continued to dominate territorially, and James Morrish combined with Agombar to send McKenzie away, but Phillips saved well.
Agombar then opened up the home defence on the left and JJ’s header from the resulting centre was just wide of the post.
Da Cruz was unlucky with an overhead kick from an Agombar corner, whilst close to half time Sam Mott comfortably held a free kick from Steve Carvell.
The second half started with a good run by Thompson, who cut in from the right wing, and his shot hit the side netting.
At the other end, in a rare Phoenix attack, Calvin Poku, who replaced Ricky Freeman in the home starting line up, played a good ball to Theo Fairweather-Johnson, but, under pressure from Paul Goodacre, he put his shot high over the bar.
As Hornchurch increased the pressure on the home defence, Thompson gave Ayrton Coley an opening, and his shot was blocked. McKenzie quickly followed up but the shot went over the bar.
Da Cruz powered his way down the middle and his shot beat the keeper but was wide of the target, and Phillips then saved well from Kenzer Lee.
James Morrish and Leon McKenzie both went close with headers, the first from a Coley centre and the second from a Thompson inspired move on the right.
Dave Collis and Jamie Hursit replaced Agombar and Thompson, and in the final minute of stoppage time Hornchurch had one last chance with a free kick ten yards outside the area. With neither Purcell nor Agombar on the field, it was left to Collis to take the free kick, but although this shot cleared the defensive wall, it also cleared the bar, and Hornchurch had to be content with just one point.