Hornchurch made an unconvincing start to the New Year when Brentwood cruised to a three goal interval lead. Two early substitutions in the second half saw a much improved performance, but not enough to prevent the visitors from leaving with all three points.

Monday 01-January-2018
HORNCHURCH 3 BRENTWOOD TOWN 4

HFC – Mott, Bentley ©, Porter, Chouman (Joseph 49), Cooper, Oluwatimilihin, Fanimo (Fairweather-Johnson 49), Roberts, McKenzie, Purcell, Warner
Subs – Hursit Livings, Collis

BT – Page, Gardner, Martin, Jones (Bell 88), Gibbs, Cavalier, Hilton (Bademosi 77), Hall, Price, Freeman, Foster (Pugsley 69)
Subs – Wiggins, Mitchell

Officials – Elliott Kaye with Farai Hallam and Endrit Malaveci

Scorers – Price 4 (BT) – Gardner 7 (BT), Freeman 30 (BT). Purcell 54p (H), Bademosi 88 (BT) – McKenzie 89 (H) – Purcell 90+2p (H)

Bookings – McKenzie 34 (H) – Cavalie 67 (BT) – Bentley 68 (H) – Pugsley 90+4 (BT)
Attendance 243
Duration 46.00 + 50.00

HORNCHURCH 3 BRENTWOOD TOWN 4

Brentwood took a fourth minute lead when Matt Price converted a cross from the left, and Price almost added a second a minute later with a shot that went across the face of the goal.

Jay Porter cleared a cross from the left, but on seven minutes Brentwood went further ahead when a soft shot from Jack Gardner from long range squirmed underneath Sam Mott and into the net.

Hornchurch had their first opportunity two minutes later when Sean Roberts sent in a hard shot that beat Anthony Page only to go wide of the post, and another chance went begging when Matthias Fanimo sent in a good cross from the left, and the ball went across the face of the goal before being played upfield.

Page was in action when he punched away a swerving Brad Warner corner, whilst a George Purcell shot took a deflection around the post for another corner.

Price was causing the home defence quite a few problems, and when he gained possession thirty yards out his shot beat Mott but went over the bar.

Olumide Oluwatimilihin went close with a hard shot that took a deflection around the post, for the first of three corners inside a minute, but it was Brentwood who went further ahead when the defence failed to clear a dipping centre from the right and Andy Freeman was left unmarked to volley home.

Two minutes into the second half, Oluwatimilihin went close, and manager Jim McFarlane made two substitutions, sending on Theo Fairweather-Johnson and Tobi Joseph, but it was Brentwood who again went close with a shot from Price that came back off the post.

Fairweather-Johnson made a good run on the right to set up Purcell, but his shot was wide of the mark, but Hornchurch pulled a goal back when a Warner corner was handled in the box, close to the goal line, and George Purcell fired home the resulting penalty.

Two minutes later another Warner corner found Leon McKenzie, only for his header to rebound off the post, and shortly afterwards a Purcell free kick cannoned back off the defensive wall to Oluwatimilihin, whose follow up shot met the same fate.

Mott made an excellent save from Freeman, who had moved onto a free kick from the right, and Mott made another good save, this time from Price.

The visiting defence spent much of the time heading the ball back upfield after it was launched high and hopefully into their half, and three minutes from time Brentwood went further ahead when Izzy Bademosi converted a cross from the left wing.

Hornchurch went straight down the field and Leon McKenzie got onto the end of a right wing cross to head home, and then followed a spell of intense pressure which was finally rewarded when Tobi Joseph cut in from the left wing and was brought down, for George Purcell to convert his second penalty of the game.

Brentwood defended in depth for the final three minutes to hold out and take the points, in what was a very disappointing display from Hornchurch, when their ‘high ball down the middle’ tactics rarely paid dividends.