Both sides were on a poor run of form but Hornchurch put in an improved performance to finally run out 4-0 winners courtesy of goals from Elliot Styles, Leon McKenzie and a brace from George Purcell.
WARE 0 HORNCHURCH 4
HFC – Mott, Bentley (Hursit 83), Porter, Lee, Cooper, Styles ©, Fairweather-Johnson (Joseph 81), Chouman, McKenzie, Purcell, Warner
Subs – Fanimo, Roberts
W – Coulton, Appiah, Flynn, Larner (Mohammed 78), Madden, Karagul, Milner, Oujdi, Kamanan (Dobson 59), Antoine, Georgiou (Josephs 50)
Subs – Madu, Wilson
Scorers – Styles 18, Purcell 61, 80p, McKenzie 70
Booking – Cooper 78, Appiah 80, Mohammed 82, Josephs 90
Duration 45.00 + 45.00
WARE 0 HORNCHURCH 4
It was a cold day and both teams struggled to come to terms with the heavy pitch which made control difficult but once the sides had settled it was Hornchurch who started to gain the upper hand.
The opening 10 minutes were quiet with neither side mustering an effort on target but with 18 minutes on the clock Elliot Styles rose highest to head in Brad Warner’s corner to open the scoring.
Warner was causing problems for the Ware defence as he twice created opportunities, cutting in from the left to feed Purcell and then coming in from the right to square to Chouman but neither effort caused Coulton in the Ware goal to make a save.
On the half hour Cooper, up for another corner fired goalward but it was deflected over the bar following good work by McKenzie. From the resulting corner Purcell fired over.
Half Time: Ware 0, Hornchurch 1
Ware made a change on 51 minutes with Georgiou, a recent acquisition from Brentwood Town, being replaced by Josephs.
Hornchurch, getting a lot of joy down the left wing, had Porter in space but Purcell was unable to convert the cross. Kamanan was then replaced by Dobson for Ware.
On the hour, McKenzie was fouled 20 yards out. Purcell lined up the freekick and drilled it past the wall and past Coulton into the net to double the Urchins’ lead.
Ware came close to reducing the deficit on 64 minutes when a freekick was glanced goalward but rebounded off the bar and cleared to safety by Cooper.
With 20 minutes remaining a defensive mix up allowed McKenzie space to shoot and he made no mistake, sliding the ball under the advancing keeper.
Coulton then produced 2 fine saves, the first a header by McKenzie and the second a diving save as he tipped Fairweather-Johnson’s shot around the post. Hornchurch were creating chances at will and when Purcell broke through he rounded the keeper but was fouled as he prepared to shoot. A penalty was awarded and Purcell thumped the ball straight down the middle of the goal.
Fairweather-Johnson, suffering from cramp was replaced by Joseph on 81 minutes.
Chouman was unlucky not to add a 5th as his rasping 30 yard drive cannoned off the underside of the bar before being cleared. Warner then had a point blank header saved before Purcell ghosted into the box and his hard shot was well saved by the vastly overworked Coulton.
With time running out Karagul had 2 efforts for Ware the first a header and the second a shot on the turn but both cleared the bar.
Full Time: Ware 0, Hornchurch 4