In a game the Urchins dominated for long periods they’ll be disappointed with the 0 – 0 result but can take heart from another solid all round performance.
TILBURY 0 HORNCHURCH 0
T – Butcher, Mead, Cook, Benoit, Nightingill, Jaggs, Aromolaran (Francis 83), Conway (Norton 34), Smith (Charles 72), Richmond, Hewitt
Subs – Willis, James
HFC – Mott, Hursit, Bentley, Styles, Cooper, Goodacre, Thompson, McKenzie, Lee, Coley (Cohen 60), Seymour
Subs – Da Cruz, Hussain, King, Chouman
Officials – Zac Ellis with M Begley and L Ronaldson
Booking – Charles 79 (T)
Duration 48.00 + 50.00
TILBURY 0 HORNCHURCH 0
Four hundred matches ago, manager Jim McFarlane took over from Colin McBride, with a goalless draw at Margate.
And match number 400 ended the same way.
Hornchurch may have the best defensive record in the league, but they are failing to convert the many chances they create up front, and for the second match in succession there were no goals.
Abs Thompson gave home left back Jimmy Cook a torrid time on the wing, sending over a succession of crosses into the middle, most of which were competently cleared by a solid defence.
But on two occasions the ball went invitingly across the goalmouth, and on two other occasions it reached Abs Seymour, who both times placed his shot too high and over the bar.
Tilbury had little to offer in return, apart from an early shot from Neil Richmond, which went several yards wide of the target.
Elliot Styles got behind the defence to get in a header from a corner, but the ball was deflected away for another corner, which Joe Nightingill played firmly away to safety.
Seymour fired over after running on to a good defence splitting pass from Leon McKenzie, and in a rare home attack, Alex Bentley had to move quickly to play the ball away as it swerved in from the left.
Twice in a minute Abs Thompson raced to the goalline before sending the ball into the middle, and on both occasions there was no one to provide the finishing touch.
Hornchurch had the strong wind in their favour in the second half, but it was Tilbury who had the first opportunity, when Lewis Jaggs put his shot wide from the edge of the area.
Another Thompson run saw him send the ball low into the middle, where Ayrton Coley could only prod his shot wide of the goal from just a few yards out.
This proved to be Coley’s last involvement as he was replaced by Gary Cohen, who quickly got into the action, only to fail to convert when McKenzie slipped the ball through the defence, to give him a clear run at goal.
McKenzie then went close, only to be denied by an excellent save by Lee Butcher, and a Paul Goodacre header from a Seymour corner looked like going into the net until Conor Mead scooped the ball off the line.
Butcher again saved well from McKenzie, and the final fifteen minutes saw the Tilbury defence coming under increasing pressure, as Hornchurch powered forward, forcing several corners, whilst Thompson continued to send over a steady supply of crosses into the goalmouth.
Sam Mott was never troubled in the Hornchurch goal, whilst Alex Bentley and Jamie Hursit closed down any danger from the flanks, in what was an impressive defence display, but Jim McFarlane must be wondering how two points escaped after so much pressure during a match dominated by Hornchurch, who also provided the vast majority of the support in a near deserted stadium.