Leon McKenzie broke the team’s goal drought midway through the first half before adding a stunning 89th minute equaliser to ensure the Urchins extended their unbeaten league run and returned to the Bridge with a share of the spoils.
CHESHUNT 2 HORNCHURCH 2
CFC – Gooch, Clemo, Thomas, Kizzi, Kendall ©, Heather (Illsley 85), Milbourn, Bruno (Jones 40), Hallett, Hope (Kalu 87), Bolle
Subs – Nzengo, Fletcher
HFC – Mott, Bentley, Da Cruz, Styles ©, Cooper, Cho (Coley 85), Thompson (Purcell 49), Lee (Cohen 80), Wall, McKenzie, Seymour
Subs – Hussain, King
Officials – H Cutmore with T Beeton and E Mayer
Scorers – McKenzie 27 (H) – Millbourn 28 (CFC) – Bolle 33 (CFC) – McKenzie 89 (H)
Bookings – Da Cruz 44 (H) – Jones 62 (CFC) – Da Cruz 74 (second yellow – OFF)
Duraton 48.00 + 49.00
CHESHUNT 2 HORNCHURCH 2
No sooner does one player come back from injury, than we lose another one. Paul Goodacre, this time, and also Jamie Hursit.
Cheshunt were penned inside their own half for the first twenty minutes, and Hornchurch nearly took a fourth minute lead when a Jed Chouman cross-cum-shot drifted just wide of the far post.
Ross Wall then linked up well with Abs Seymour, whose rapid run ended when he was tripped on the edge of the area, the referee sensibly allowing play to continued as Abs regained his balance, before awarding the free kick, which Seymour floated into the goalmouth, and Michael Gooch was relieved to touch the ball out for a corner.
Hornchurch took the lead, breaking their run of three league matches without scoring, when Seymour gained possession close to the half way line, and slotted the ball through to Leon McKenzie, who ran forward and neatly glided his shot past Gooch and into the net.
The lead lasted less than sixty seconds, as Hornchurch was caught out from the restart, when the ball was played down the left wing, and the cross into the middle found Luke Milbourn, whose first time shot eluded the diving Sam Mott.
Five minutes later, the home side took the lead. when a free kick out on the left was headed home by Adam Bolle.
Ross Wall almost created the equaliser two minutes later, when his well-flighted cross from the right found McKenzie, but his header lacked the necessary power to beat Gooch, who saved comfortably.
A Seymour free kick was headed goalwards by Elliot Styles, and eventually the ball was scrambled around the post.
Wall then went close with a header on 41 minutes, and Nathan Cooper rose well to meet a Seymour free kick, the ball flashing past the far post.
As the half moved into stoppage time, JJ Da Cruz was booked for a mistimed tackle, the yellow card seemingly somewhat harsh after earlier challenges by the home side had been unpunished.
Hornchurch survived a scare in the final minute of stoppage time when Bolle’s dangerous cross from the left was deflected for a corner.
A minute into the second half, Cheshunt went close, when Mott had to back pedal to tip a long range shot over the bar.
On 49 minutes Abs Thompson moved in sharply from the right but lost his footing and could not get his cross into the middle.
This proved to be his final contribution, as Jim McFarlane introduced George Purcell, whose absence has been greatly missed for the last two months.
Purcell’s first touch was to take a free kick, thirty yards out, but his hard shot cannoned back off the defensive wall.
On 66 minutes Hornchurch conceded a penalty. Billy Jones stepped up to take the kick, but the ball hit the post and was cleared.
Two minutes later Hornchurch supporters behind the goal thought they had drawn level when Da Cruz sent the ball in from the left, only for McKenzie’s diving header to be ruled offside.
Da Cruz then picked up his second yellow card of the match, for a mistimed challenge, and Hornchurch had to play the final fifteen minutes a player short.
But it was Cheshunt who spent the remainder of the match defending in depth as Hornchurch powered forward, with Wall going close with a header from another excellent Seymour centre.
A minute earlier Gary Cohen had replaced Kenzer Lee, and then Ayrton Coley came on for Jed Chouman, as Hornchurch applied non-stop pressure.
The equaliser came with one minute remaining. A long ball from the left reached Leon McKenzie on the far side. Forty yards out and close to the touch line, Leon took four – or was it five – paces, and then unleashed an unstoppable shot that looped into the far corner of the net.