The Urchins made it eight wins in a row but they were made to work extremely hard for the 2-1 win by a strong Maldon & Tiptree side. Mckenzie and Warner were on the scoresheet before half-time but the second half display by Sam Mott and the defence was outstanding ensuring the Urchins returned with maximum points.
MALDON & TIPTREE 1 HORNCHURCH 2
MT – Walker, Udoji, Peter, Lock, Olomowewe, Humphrey (Bailey 57), Gondoh, Renee, Ogedi-Uzokwe, Millar, Claimpin
Subs – Rowland, Forest, Keys, Brown
HFC – Mott, Bentley (Fanimo 82), Porter, Lee, Cooper, Chouman (Roberts HT), Fairweather-Johnson, Styles (Hursit 72), McKenzie, Purcell, Warner
Subs – Tuohy, Hussain
Scorers – McKenzie 12 (H) – Ogedi-Uzokwe 29 (MT) – Warner 40 (H)
Bookings – Udoji 34 (MT) – Warner 89 (H)
MALDON & TIPTREE 1 HORNCHURCH 2
Hornchurch were made to work hard for their seventh victory of the season at a ground where last season they put on their worst display of the season. They made no mistake this time, although they had to hang on towards the end as the home side staged a strong come-back in an effort to grab an equaliser.
With just three minutes gone, Hornchurch forced two corners in succession, from the second of which George Purcell tried and overhead kick, but keeper Andy Walker was alert and saved comfortably.
Hornchurch had a scare on ten minutes when Maldon broke upfield and Sam Mott parried a good attempt from Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, although an offside flag was already raised.
Hornchurch took the lead on twelve minutes when Leon McKenzie pounced on a defensive error and took full advantage with a fine shot that beat Walker.
Two minutes later, Purcell, out on the left, sent over a pinpoint cross, but just a fraction too far for McKenzie to reach.
Purcell was again in action a minute later with a hard drive that flashed the wrong wide of the post.
As Hornchurch continued to press, a defensive header rebounded to McKenzie, but Walker saved well, McKenzie regained possession and slipped he ball to Purcell, but his first time shot cleared the bar.
Maldon drew level on 29 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Nathan Cooper pulled back the Maldon forward. Mott saved the kick but the ball rebounded to Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe who followed up to score.
Five minutes later Emmanuel Udoji became the first player to go into the book, with a yellow card for a foul on Jed Chouman.
Hornchurch regained the lead five minutes before the interval, when Maldon conceded a free kick. Brad Warner stepped up and his hard shot beat the defensive wall and went into the net.
Three minutes later Warner had another chance with a free kick from a similar position but Walker saved well to keep the ball out of the net.
Manager Jim McFarlane made one change at half time, bringing on Sean Roberts for Jed Chouman.
After a quiet opening fifteen minutes to the second half, Maldon came back strongly and Mott was called upon to make an excellent save when the home side broke quickly upfield on 63 minutes.
A minute later Maldon were awarded a free kick just outside the area and Mott again saved to keep Hornchurch ahead.
On 72 minutes captain Elliot Styles was replaced by Jamie Hursit
Maldon threw players forward seeking for an equaliser and applied strong and sustained pressure, with a shot cannoning back off a post, and another going narrowly wide on 79 minutes when a shot went past the post.
On 82 minutes Hornchurch made their final change of the match, Mathias Fanimo coming on for Alex Bentley.
A minute from full time Brad Warner became the first Hornchurch player to go into the referee’s notebook, as Hornchurch continued to defend.
Maldon continued to attack and in the final minute of full time another hard shot came back off the post as Hornchurch held out.
Hornchurch went straight back down the other end, where Purcell broke away, only for his shot to go wide of the target.