The Urchins extended their winning run to 7 games with a hard fought 2-1 win over previously unbeaten Potters Bar Town courtesy of goals from Theo Fairweather-Johnson and Leon McKenzie.
POTTERS BAR TOWN 1 HORNCHURCH 2
PB – Laurencin, Baird, Lomas, Lobjoit, Turner, Doyle, Casey, Adcock, Murray © (Martin-Miles 87), Nicholas, Holland (Hart78
Subs – Ogunsola, Sota
HFC – Mott, Hursit (Bentley HT), Porter, Lee, Cooper, Chouman, Fairweather-Johnson (Fanimo 89), Styles ©, McKenzie (Roberts 90+8), Purcell, Warner
Subs – Tuohy, Hussain
Officials – Gavin Muge with Tom Rather and Jack Scott
Scorers – Fairweather-Johnson 7 (H) – Casey 44 (P) – McKenzie 50 (H)
Bookings – Cooper 46 (H) – Murray 59 (P) Styles 59 (H) – Nicholas 78 (P) – Fairweather-Johnson 89 (H) – Turner 90+1 (P) – Doyle 90+ 2(P) – Baird 90+2 (P)Lobjoit 90+5 (P) OFF
Duration 48.00 + 53.00
PB – maroon / white / maroon
H – all yellow
POTTERS BAR TOWN 1 HORNCHURCH 2
On a day when the rain cascaded down in torrents, Potters Bar lost their unbeaten record to a dominant Hornchurch side as goals from Theo Fairweather-Johnson and Leon McKenzie settled the match.
Just as the match started, so the first drops of rain fell, quickly turning into a torrent. George Purcell fired in the first shot of the match, running on to Jamie Hursit cross-field pass, and sending his hard drive past the far post from a narrow angle.
Hornchurch took the lead on seven minutes, in a move that began with Brad Warner, who played the ball out to an overlapping Jay Porter on the left. The ball was dispatched into the middle, where Theo Fairweather-Johnson, on the edge of the area, turned sharply and volleyed home past a diving Berkley Laurencin.
Potters Bar went close with their first attack of the match. Maxwell Holland, who caused the Hornchurch defence a lot of problems in the first half, sent in a shot that was blocked by Kenzer Lee. The ball rebounded to Andrew Lomas, but his cross-cum-shot went a long way wide of the post.
Potters Bar began to exert strong pressure, and a Michael Murray free kick was deflected around the post for the first of two successive corners, both taken by Cedric Nicholas, and from the second of these, Billy Lobjoit sent a hard shot wide of the target.
On 23 minutes George Purcell ran in powerfully from the left wing, but his shot rose a fraction too high and over the bar.
Four minutes later Murray again sent in a free kick, but well off-target, and back at the other end, Brad Warner fed the ball out to Purcell, but his shot was too high.
So far Sam Mott had not been called upon to make a save, thanks to some solid defending, and when Eoin Casey put in a cross, the ball went across the face of the goal, perhaps a little too close for comfort.
Mott then had a shot to save, diving to his left to tip a free kick from Casey to safety.
Murray put over a good centre towards the far post, and George Nicholas headed wide, but on 44 minutes Potters Bar drew level, when Eoin Casey headed home from close range.
The rain stopped at half time and the second half started in sunshine, and it was now Hornchurch very much in the ascendency, with first McKenzie and then Fairweather-Johnson having shots cleared off the line.
Hornchurch were not to be denied, and when Warner, deep inside his own half, played a long ball upfield, Leon McKenzie outpaced his marker, and sent in a hard shot from outside the area to put Hornchurch back into the lead.
Jed Chouman, in command in midfield, sent in a long range drive that Laurencin turned out for a corner, and, as the pressure continued almost non stop, Purcell had a shot tipped over the bar, and then again went close, his shot rebounding back to Nathan Cooper, whose follow up met the same fate.
On 80 minutes Fairweather-Johnson moved on to a cross from Warner, and his hooked shot skimmed the bar.
Chouman sent a free kick wide, and Laurencin dropped an inswinging Warner corner into his own net, only for the goal to be ruled out.
Potters Bar grew increasingly frustrated, unable to mount any form of attack in reply, and as the match moved into a prolonged stoppage time, the referee was reaching for his card all too often.
And when Mathias Fanimo came on, his first touch followed seconds later, when he raced clear, only to the scythed down on the edge of the area. A yellow card followed.
In the fifth minute of stoppage time, out came the red card, and directed at a slightly unfortunate Billy Lobjoit – unfortunate as two other home players had earlier got off with a yellow, but perhaps a fourth card in a matter of minutes was one card too many.
Sean Roberts came on in the eight minute of stoppage time, but the whistle went a few seconds afterwards, and as everyone left the field, so the rain returned, cascading down in monsoon proportions.