Early goals from Cooper and Wall plus a third just before half time from McKenzie ensured the Urchins returned with all 3 points following a convincing first half performance against Thamesmead. The hosts came into the game more after the break but Mott was equal to anything Mead could muster.
THAMESMEAD 0 HORNCHURCH 3
TT – McCarthy, Brand, Porter, James-Lewis, Knight (Vines 60), Smith, Anidugbe, O’Connor, Vines, Tenolia (French 61), Rhule
Subs – Simpson, Ademiluyi, Green
HFC – Mott, Bentley, Da Cruz, Styles c), Cooper, Chouman, Purcell (Cohen 66), Lee, Wall, McKenzie (Coley 84), Seymour
Subs – Thompson, Hussain, King
Officials – G Heron with D Lunani and D Wynter
Scorers – Cooper 6 – Wall 13 – McKenzie 40
Booking – James-Lewis 36 (TT)
THAMESMEAD 0 HORNCHURCH 3
George Purcell, after an absence of two months, was able to take his place in the starting line up, on a damp night at Thamesmead. And although he did not find the net, he made his presence felt in an emphatic three goal win, as Hornchurch extended their unbeaten run in the league to seven matches, including six clean sheets.
Hornchurch started powerfully and took the lead after six minutes. A corner was only partially cleared, as far as Elliot Styles, and he quickly played the ball back into the goalmouth, where Nathan Cooper was waiting to place it into the net.
Thamesmead made their first attacking move on eleven minutes, when Sam Mott comfortably dealt with a free kick.
A minute later, a long clearance found Ross Wall, who flicked on to Purcell, but his shot was straight at keeper Tyler McCarthy.
Sixty seconds later, it was two nil. Jed Chouman floated his cross into the middle, but the home defence could not clear the ball, which came out to Ross Wall, who quickly curled his shot over McCarthy and into the net.
Wall opened up the home defence ten minutes later with a fine pass that was just a little too far ahead of Kenzer lee.
McCarthy had plenty to do in the home goal and when he punched a cross away, the ball fell invitingly for Purcell, only for McCarthy to react well to save the resulting volley.
Hornchurch kept up the pressure and an Abs Seymour free kick found Styles, but his header was directed too close to the overworked McCarthy.
As the pressure mounted Merrick James-Lewis went into the referee’s notebook.
Five minutes before the interval, Seymour played the ball to Purcell, who played it on to Leon McKenzie, who calmly glided it into the net to give Hornchurch a three-goal interval lead.
It could so easily have been four, when, two minutes later, Purcell set off on a run, only for his shot to cannon back off a defender.
And sixty seconds later McCarthy saved as Purcell swooped in.
It was perhaps a relief to the home side that only one minute was added on for stoppages.
Purcell made his presence felt a minute after the interval with a hard volley, which was a fraction too high, and over the bar.
On 55 minutes McCarthy came out of goal to head away, and although Wall quickly played the ball back towards goal, it was too high and just cleared the bar.
Purcell then opened up the defence with a fine cross, which eluded McKenzie as he raced in.
Mott was a spectator for long periods and the closest Thamesmead came was when a shot went past the post.
Gary Cohen came on for George Purcell, and then it was the turn of Sam Mott to get more involved in the play, with an excellent save on 74 minutes, turning the shot out for a corner, which the Hornchurch defence cleared comfortably.
Six minutes later Mott was again in action, diving to his right to save a goal-bound shot.
Play quickly switched to the other end, where McKenzie went close, when his shot went wide of the post.
With six minutes to play, Ayrton Coley came on for McKenzie, and Hornchurch had little difficulty in playing out the remaining few minutes, to keep up their challenge for promotion.