The Urchins failed to score for the 4th game in succession as they struggled to break down a resilient Heybridge Swifts. A dour first 80 minutes finally sprung to life late on as Hornchurch laid siege to the Swifts goal but were unable to break the deadlock.
HORNCHURCH 0 HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS 0
HFC – Mott, Hursit, Bentley ©, Da Cruz, Cooper, Chouman, Thompson, Lee, McKenzie (Coley 87), Cohen (Purcell 59), Seymour
Subs – King, Hussain
HS – Sambridge, Njie, Anderson, Dark, Mallardo, Glover (Smith 65), Godbold, Baker, Barham, Brown (Eaton-Collins 77), Grant (Andrews 84)
Officials – Peter Killip with Joshua Howard and Paul Greenfield
Duration 46.00 + 54.00
HORNCHURCH 0 HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS 0
Hornchurch extended their unbeaten league run to five matches, which was also the fifth in succession without conceding a goal.
But on the debit side, it was their third goalless league draw in a row, which, whilst setting up a club record, raises the question of what they must do to get the ball into the net.
There was not much to excite in a first half, dominated by both defences. Swifts had two early corners, and Hornchurch replied with an Abs Thompson run which led to a corner at the windmill end, after which little happened until a Thompson free kick was weakly headed at visiting keeper Danny Sambridge.
Sam Mott was largely a spectator, but was almost caught out on the half hour when he was perhaps fortunate to tip a speculative ball in from the left wing from Jack Barham around the post.
Hornchurch replied when Leon McKenzie played a good ball to Gary Cohen, but he was crowded out before he could get his shot in, and the ball was turned out for a corner.
Close to half time Abs Seymour gave Thomson a shooting opportunity but Sambridge had no difficulty in saving.
Hornchurch came more into the match as an attacking force in the second half, when Thompson sent over a good centre to McKenzie, whose header was tipped around the post, and Nathan Cooper went close with a header from the resulting corner.
A Jed Chouman centre was deflected for a corner, and the best chance so far came when Cohen almost broke through, but was tackled and the loose ball fell to McKenzie, who in turn sent the ball wide to Thompson, but the final shot was too high and over the bar.
George Purcell replaced Cohen, and his first touch a minute later saw Seymour dispossess Simon Glover, and he played the ball into the middle to McKenzie, who missed the target from just a few yards out.
Simon Glover was then taken off with a suspected broken ankle, and play was held up for several minutes.
Heybridge had a rare sortie into the Hornchurch half, but the ball was fired high and over the bar, before the visiting goal came under a lengthy siege.
McKenzie headed over, but most of the action was left until the final few minutes, and the nine minutes of stoppage time.
Jamie Hursit forced Sambridge into making a good save with a shot ten yards outside the area, but it was not until stoppage time that Hornchurch looked capable of finding the net.
Four times in the final few minutes the ball was cleared off the Heybridge goal line, and Sambridge saved a Kenzer Lee header on the line.
Five minutes into stoppage time most thought Hornchurch had scored following a massive scramble in front of goal, but the ball was eventually booted out for a corner.
The final opportunity fell to Jed Chouman, but Sambridge it was again saved.