An early Ross Wall strike and a brace from Leon McKenzie put the Urchins in a commanding position vs Wroxham. The hosts fought back strongly in the second half but Hornchurch held on for a much needed 3 points.
WROXHAM 2 HORNCHURCH 3
WFC – Robinson, Lewis, Rampling, Cook ©, Ebbage (Baughurst 71), Halliday, Schaar, Newman, Gilfedder (Nayadzayo 65), Datacampol, Bussens
Sub – Guyton
HFC – Mott, Bentley, Da Cruz, Styles ©, Cooper, Chouman, Thompson (Hursit 77), Osman (Morrish HT), McKenzie (Hussain 87), Wall, Luke
Subs – Coley
Officials – Ady Sannerube with Neil Jacques and Andrew Waite
Scorers – Wall 13 (H) – Bussens 25 (W) – McKenzie 41 (H) – McKenzie 63 (H) – Schaar 79 (W)
Bookings – Newman 30 (W) – Luke 37 (H) – McKenzie 54 (H) – Luke 72 (H) RED (second yellow)
Duration 47.00 + 49.00
WROXHAM 2 HORNCHURCH 3
After a misty 120-mile journey, it was something of a relief to find that the worst of the mist had disappeared just past Norwich.
On a pitch that was heavily sanded and very soft, Hornchurch were once again without several key players – George Purcell, Kenzer Lee, Paul Goodacre, Gary Cohen and Abs Seymour – but Elliot Styles was able to take his place in the starting line up after missing a couple of games through injury.
Wroxham had strengthened their side with two midweek signings, Callum Robinson and Jack Newman, both of whom had played for Sudbury against Hornchurch in the league cup a week earlier.
Hornchurch took control from the start, Leon McKenzie giving Ross Wall a shooting chance, which Robinson saved, turning the ball around the post.
A minute later Robinson was again in action, saving well from Jed Chouman, whilst a rapid run down the right wing by Abs Thompson ended with his shot going just over the bar.
Hornchurch maintained the pressure, and McKenzie played the ball in to Wall, whose shot deflected off a defender for a corner.
Hornchurch took the lead when Junior Luke won the ball close to the half way line and he made ground before crossing to Ross Wall, who turned and fired the ball hard into the net.
Hornchurch twice went close from corners, both taken by Chouman, and they appeared to be heading for a comfortable victory – until JJ Da Cruz missed the ball in midfield, and it ran on to Craig Bussens, who gratefully accepted the gift, ran forward and fired his shot past Sam Mott to level the score.
Wroxham came more into the match a, and Mott saved from Datacampol, before Hornchurch regained their composure, and Robinson turned a Chouman free kick around the post for a corner.
A McKenzie centre was also deflected out for a corner, whilst Junior Luke picked up a booking for dissent.
Five minutes from half time JJ Da Cruz gained possession, and he played the ball forward to Wall, who headed on to Leon McKenzie, who immediately placed his shot hard into the net to put Hornchurch back in front.
James Morrish replaced Ben Osman for the second half, and Hornchurch had a first minute shock when Tom Rampling fired his cross-cum-shot across the face of the goal.
Elliot Styles blocked a well-taken free kick, but it was Hornchurch who had the better of the play.
On 63 minutes some good interplay between Ross Wall and Leon McKenzie ended with Leon neatly gliding the ball home for the third goal, and we confidently expected Hornchurch to dominate the remainder of the match.
McKenzie almost netted his third with a header from a Chouman free kick, but then the entire pattern of the game changed with Junior Luke’s mistimed tackle in midfield, which led to his second booking of the match, and Hornchurch were a player down for the remainder of the half.
Jamie Hursit came on for Thompson, who had on several occasions ploughed through the soft sandy surface on the social club side of the ground, and a minute later Wroxham pulled a goal back when a long ball upfield caught the Hornchurch defence by surprise and Armani Schaar poked the ball past Mott from outside the area.
Hornchurch then had to withstand ten minutes of Wroxham dominance, before Morrish almost found the net at the other end with a shot, and Wall made a fifty yard run from the left, which ended with his shot hitting the side netting.
A very welcome three points against a club whose position at the foot of the table seems to be a false one, although the two defensive errors which led to both Wroxham goals put the twelve match unbeaten run under some unnecessary pressure.