In a pulsating game the Urchins led courtesy of a George Purcell piledriver midway through the first half. Both sides controlled the second half for long periods but it was Maldon who struck when Henry poked home 5 minutes from time.
HORNCHURCH 1 MALDON & TIPTREE 1
HFC – Mott, Bentley, Luke, Styles © (Hursit 12), Cooper, Chouman, Purcell (Thompson 74), Lee, McKenzie, Wall, Seymour
Subs – Hussain, Coley, Cohen
MT – Wilks, Hammond, Claridge, Lock ©, Roast, Greenfield, Brampton (Mills A 77), Agyermang (Mills D 77), Henry, Nash (Monlouis 62), Allarakia
Sub – Amanzi
Officials – Rick Bloy with Jeff Stanley and Craig Barnett
Scorers – Purcell 27 (H) – Henry 85 (MT)
Bookings – Cooper 53 (H) – Luke 59 (H) – Claridge 90+1 (MT) – Thompson 90+1 (H)
Duration 48.00 + 50.00
HORNCHURCH 1 MALDON & TIPTREE 1
Hornchurch welcomed back Junior Luke, who had spent the early part of the season with Billericay and then briefly for Canvey Island.
And Luke was quickly in action when he conceded a free kick, a few yards outside the area, after just two minutes. Matt Lock sent the ball into the goalmouth the ball was headed away for a corner, which in turn was headed away by Alex Bentley.
Maldon forced four corners in the first ten minutes but Mott was not troubled. When Tarryn Allarakhia sent the ball over from the left, Elliot Styles made a fine interception, but this proved to be his final contribution, as he was replaced by Jamie Hursit after receiving lengthy attention.
Hornchurch reshuffled their defence and began to take control. A Ross Wall shot was deflected for a corner, and a George Purcell shot met with a similar fate, with Billy Roast clearing on both occasions from Abs Seymour’s corner kick.
Kenzer Lee sent a well-flighted cross into the middle, where Leon McKenzie headed wide.
McKenzie gave Purcell a shooting opportunity and although the ball beat keeper Daniel Wilks, it also sped the wrong side of the far post.
A McKenzie shot was turned out for a corner, and this led to the Hornchurch goal. Seymour sent the ball over, and it was cleared but only as far as midfield, where Jamie Hursit quickly returned the ball to George Purcell, who, thirty yards out, volleyed his shot hard past Wilks and into the net.
Close to half time, Purcell almost scored with another volley which again beat Wilks, and again went a fraction wide.
For the first fifteen minutes of the second half, Hornchurch had to weather some strong pressure from Maldon, but, apart from two interceptions by Nathan Cooper and Alex Bentley, there was little threat to the home goal.
The turning point came when a long throw from Luke found Wall, whose header was well saved by Wilks.
Maldon withstood some heavy pressure as Hornchurch again took control. Wilks again saved from McKenzie, and, when Wall sent the ball over into the middle, Wilks made an excellent save from McKenzie, tipping the ball onto the bar, and saving Kenzer Lee’s follow up shot.
Two minutes later, Abs Thompson raced down the right wing and crossed to McKenzie and again it was Wilks ideally placed to save.
Maldon grabbed a surprise equaliser, when Kieran Monlouis sent a cross into the middle, and Rhys Henry poked the ball home from close range.
Hornchurch tried hard to get the winning goal, but the packed visiting defence held out, although they were very fortunate when a Thompson cross beat everyone, before skimming the far post.
Maldon can thank keeper Wilks for keeping them in the game, but Hornchurch had created enough chances to have comfortably taken all three points.
Hornchurch have now extended their unbeaten run in the league to eight matches, but five of them have ended in draws.