Ross Wall scored his 6th Hornchurch goal of the season midway through the first half but Witham Town fought back strongly in the second half to return home with a share of the spoils.
HORNCHURCH 1 WITHAM TOWN 1
HFC – Mott, Bentley ©, Da Cruz, Lee, Cooper, Chouman, Thompson, Osman (Morrish 65), McKenzie (Coley 61), Wall, Purcell (Cohen 61)
Subs – Styles, Hussain
WT – Soutar, Mallet, Anderson, Watson ©, Akins (Gyebi 81), Green, Koranteng (Payne 87), Osei, Kemp (Monsheju 81), Adeniji, Charles
Subs – Hayes, Regis
Officials – James Simpson with Jamie Pope and Nathan Pickford
Scorers – Wall 17 (H) – Adeniji 60 (W)
Bookings – Charles 38 (W) – Mallet 68 (W) – Adeniji 74 (W) – Coley 90+2 (H)
Duration 46.00 + 48.00
HORNCHURCH 1 WITHAM TOWN 1
Hornchurch extended their unbeaten league run to eleven matches, but yet again at the cost of two points, leaving them further behind the leaders Maldon & Tiptree.
Only one change to the starting line up, George Purcell in place of Junior Luke.
Hornchurch could have taken the lead in the second minute when Abs Thompson eluded three challenges and played the ball into the middle, where Jed Chouman’s shot was blocked by a defender.
Witham quickly replied, when Ryan Charles broke clear down the left wing, and Alex Bentley reacted promptly to tackle, at the cost of a corner.
It was Bentley who created a scoring chance at the other end, with a long centre, which found Leon McKenzie, whose header went wide of the goal.
Chouman fired a first time volley wide, and a minute later Hornchurch took the lead. Another rapid run by Thomson led to a corner when Alex Anderson deflected the cross. Purcell’s corner was headed goalwards, and although the attempt was saved, Ross Wall followed up to place the ball firmly into the net.
Four minutes later JJ Da Cruz gained possession deep inside this own half, and ran over sixty yards before firing his shot narrowly wide of the near post.
Witham slowly came more into the game, and a Nathan Koranteng run ended in a corner, and shortly afterwards a John Watson shot from long range went wide.
Towards half time Witham again forced the pace, and Nathan Cooper did well to deny Scott Kemp, his timely tackle conceding a corner in the process.
Witham went close in the first minute after the interval, Kemp firing wide, and for the next ten minutes Hornchurch were forced to defend against a wave of Witham attacks.
A long clearance out of defence gave Purcell a good run at goal but Sam Soutar came out to narrow the angle and made an excellent save.
Two minutes later Hornchurch were unable to clear a low cross from the left wing and Usman Adeniji stroked the ball into the net.
With Hornchurch having difficulty in breaking out of defence, Jim McFarlane made three substitutions, Gary Cohen, Ayrton Coley and James Morrish replacing Purcell, McKenzie and Ben Osman, and Hornchurch began to come more into the game, forcing Witham back on to defence.
Thompson, a constant threat on the right, made a penetrating run down the wing and cut inside, only to place his shot wide of the post.
And the best chance of the half came when a Morrish free kick evaded Kenzer Lee, and the ball fell invitingly in front of JJ Da Cruz, who, from very close range, scooped his shot over the bar.
Four minutes later, with Witham now hanging on, Soutar saved well from Jed Chouman, and the final opportunity fell to Ayrton Coley, who appeared to be held back by a defender before the ball was cleared, Coley being booked for protesting that a free kick was not awarded.