Following a poor Hornchurch first half the Urchins improved after the break and a Ross Wall header 15 minutes from time restored parity following Mead’s 7th minute opener.
Sunday 08-October-2017 – F.A. Trophy
THAMESMEAD TOWN 1 HORNCHURCH 1
T – Carey, Brand, McIntyre, Kinch, Smith, Avery (Denny 76), Mendy, Anidugbe, Vines, Kwayie, Ajala (Teniola 18)
Subs – O’Connor, Ovenden, Green
HFC – Mott, Hursit (Bentley 60), Porter, Lee, Cooper, Styles © (Roberts 56), Fairweather-Johnson, Chouman, McKenzie, Purcell, Fanimo (Wall 60)
Subs – Kamara, Tuohy
Officials – K Kempster with M Charle and Zolton Konkola
Scorers – Vines 7 (T) – Wall 74 (H)
Bookings – Fanimo 25 (H) – McKenzie 43 (H) – Avery 76 (T) – Smith 76 (T) – Purcell 82 (H)
Duration 50.00 + 49.00
THAMESMEAD TOWN 1 HORNCHURCH 1
With an hour gone we wondered if we were going to make a first time exit from the Trophy as Thamesmead looked likely to add to their early lead, whilst Hornchurch could not get going. Then Jim McFarlane made three rapid substitutions and everything changed. Ross Wall fired the all-important equaliser, and Thamesmead struggled to hold out against a rampant Hornchurch side in the final fifteen minutes.
The match got off to a slow start, and neither team threatened, until, on seven minutes, a Jake McIntyre free kick was turned out for a corner, which was only partially cleared, as far as Paul Vines, who curled the ball into the net from 25 yards.
Hornchurch attacked spasmodically, and Leon McKenzie went close with a shot from outside the area, that Lewis Carey saved.
On 16 minutes Thamesmead lost Toby Ajala, who fell awkwardly after firing a shot over the bar, and after a lengthy spell of treatment he was replaced by Alex Teniola.
Chances were few and far between, although on the half hour Matthias Fanimo linked well with McKenzie to set up George Purcell, with Carey in a good position to save the shot.
Fanimo made a good run along the left, but the finish was lacking, the ball going harmlessly behind the goal.
Shortly afterwards Jed Chouman crossed to McKenzie, but, under pressure, he put his header wide of the target.
Hornchurch struggled to find any sort of rhythm in the second half, and Thamesmead looked likely to add to their lead, and it got worse when Elliot Styles had to leave the field, to be replaced by Sean Roberts. Four minutes later, manager Jim McFarlane made a double substitution, Alex Bentley coming in at right back for Jamie Hursit and Ross Wall up front for Fanimo.
And all of a sudden it was Thamesmead who were struggling to contain a rejuvenated Hornchurch, starting when a Purcell corner was scrambled out to McKenzie, only for Carey to save well.
An equaliser was always on the cards, and it came in somewhat controversial fashion, when what to many appeared a blatant hand ball in the area was ignored. The ball was promptly returned towards the far post where Ross Wall headed home. In the ensuing seconds, Richard Avery was shown a yellow card, possibly for protesting that he was fouled in the build up to the goal, and Leon Smith quickly followed him, for protesting.
Ten minutes from time came the best move of the match. It started with a lengthy run by Nathan Cooper, from deep inside his own half, and he passed the ball out to Theo Fairweather-Johnson on the right, and continued his run to power in a header from the resulting centre, which flashed just wide of the post.
Thamesmead were now hanging on desperately. Purcell fired a hard free kick over the wall, Carey could only parry the ball, and McKenzie headed the ball back to Kenzer Lee, but Carey saved again.
Another Purcell free kick was delayed when the referee booked Purcell for asking for the defensive wall to be moved back ten yards, the ball eventually cannoning back off the aforementioned wall.
On 90 minutes McKenzie headed narrowly over from a Jay Porter centre, and in stoppage time Purcell was put clear on the right, but before he could cross the ball into the middle, play was pulled back to give Hornchurch a free kick. Purcell sent the free kick narrowly wide of the post.
So it is back to Bridge Avenue for a replay on Tuesday.