MALDON & TIPTREE 3 HORNCHURCH 0
MT – Wilks, Hammond, Hayes-Brown (Claridge 46), Lock, Roast, Greenfield, Henry, Aggermang, Newson, Nash, Mills
Subs – Kamanzi, Eussman, Allarakhia, Behan
HFC – Mott, King, Da Cruz (Berkowitz 65), Morrish (Collis 65), Cooper, Goodacre ©, Thompson, Lee, Mackenzie (Knight 86), Chouman, Coley
Sub – Hursit
Officials – C Farrell with I Kyosev and J Kerten
Scorers – Mills 32, Greenfield 51, Mills 86
Bookings – Mills 10 (MT), Greenfield 78 (MT), Thompson 90 (H)
Duration – 45.00 + 48.00
MALDON & TIPTREE 3 HORNCHURCH 0
Hornchurch, without several key players, were perhaps fortunate to escape with only a three goal defeat against a mid-table Maldon team.
Pre-match rain turned to sunshine by kick off time, but for Hornchurch supporters it was a very gloomy afternoon, as the home side were tighter at the back, quicker up front and generally in control in midfield.
Hornchurch began with confidence, when an Abs Thompson run took him past defenders, only for his cross to glance off Billy Roast for a corner.
Another Thompson run ended with the ball going untouched across goal, whilst at the other end Paul Goodacre cleared a Rhys Henry corner.
Maldon were quick to stop any sign of a Hornchurch move, and despite five tackles, all deserving of a yellow card, only one was waved, to Adam Mills for a foul on Ayrton Coley.
Maldon had the better of the territorial play, aided by a strongish downfield wind, and Sam Mott saved well from Henry.
Kenzer Lee won a corner but Coley’s kick was headed away by the impressive home defence.
Hornchurch had a let-off when a free kick was headed powerfully towards goal, forcing Nathan Cooper to clear off the line, and Hornchurch went down to the other end, where Leon Mackenzie headed a James Morrish free kick wide.
Maldon took the lead on 32 minutes when the ball was played in from the left, and although it came back off the far post, Adam Mills was first to react to place the ball firmly into the net.
In the final minutes of the half Hornchurch won two corners, but the home defence quickly played the ball upfield where Henry crossed to Sam Newson, whose shot was turned away for a corner.
Despite having the wind in their favour for the second half Hornchurch were forced to defend, and Cooper did well to thwart Henry with a last-ditch tackle.
But a minute later the ball was floated over from the left wing and Gavin Greenfield headed firmly into the net.
It could have been three when Liam Nash ran through the middle, but he placed his shot wide of the post.
Hornchurch came back with a Coley pass out to Thompson, whose long run ended with a well-flighted centre to Mackenzie, but his header went over the bar.
Dave Collis and Jakub Berkowitz, the latter signed from Dagenham & Redbridge, replaced Morrish and JJ Da Cruz, and for a time Hornchurch looked likely to pull a goal back.
Thompson proved to be the main danger to the home defence, but there was no one in the middle to put the finishing touch to a series of crosses.
A long throw from Will King created confusion in the home defence, but Coley hooked his shot over the bar.
Another Thompson run ended in a corner, and Collis sent the ball over, and a Cooper header was cleared off the line for a second corner, which was cleared.
Thompson again, and yet another centre resulted in a corner, but with four minutes left Maldon went further ahead thanks to a fine solo run from Adam Mills, which ended with a well placed shot wide of Mott.
Three nil, three points lost, and Hornchurch can have few complaints.