The Urchins returned to winning ways at Aveley on Friday as Fanimo and Fairweather-Johnson scored the goals that kept Hornchurch at the top of the Bostik North.
AVELEY 0 HORNCHURCH 2
AFC – Madden, Malton, Stephenson, Witherspoon © (Woodward 86), Keizer-Burrows, Berkane, Gordon (Marah 77), Bradford (Doyle 64), Teniola, Gard, Rees
Subs – Topley, Watson
HFC – Mott, Hursit, Porter, Lee, Cooper ©, Oluwatimilihin, Livings (Joseph 80), Roberts, McKenzie, Purcell (Fairweather-Johnson 82), Fanimo (Warner 71)
Sub – Styles
Officials – Robert Claussen with James Masson and Adam Miller
Scorers – Fanimo 45+2 – Fairweather-Johnson 86
Bookings – Cooper 45 (H) – Purcell 61 (H)
Duration 47.00 + 49.00
AVELEY 0 HORNCHURCH 2
It was twenty minutes before either side offered any threat on goal, apart from an early Aveley corner, that Nathan Cooper headed away. The first Hornchurch opportunity fell to Sean Roberts, but his first time shot was too high and over.
On twenty minutes an Aveley move on the left flank ended with the ball running out of play at the far post. A minute later, George Purcell gained possession in midfield, and played the ball out to Jay Porter on the left. Porter made ground and crossed into the middle, where a Nathan Livings hard volley came back off the post and was scrambled away.
Russell Malton tried a long range shot which was off target, and at the other end a corner was only cleared as far as Nathan Livings, whose surging run through the home defence ended with a shot that was a fraction too high and over the bar.
As half time approached, Aveley came under continuous pressure, and in the space of a minute Sean Roberts sent a shot narrowly wide, a Fanimo run ended with a hard shot that skimmed the bar, and Purcell sent over a fine cross to Leon McKenzie, whose header went inches wide.
One minute of stoppage time was announced, somewhat surprising given the number of stoppages for minor injuries, and in the second minute of the one added minute, Sam Mott launched a long clearance upfield, and Matthias Fanimo won possession, and weaved his way past a defender, before neatly slotting the ball past Rhys Madden to give Hornchurch an interval lead.
Hornchurch continued to dictate the play in the second half, and Sean Roberts went close when he moved on to a pass from Nathan Cooper, whilst a free kick was only partially cleared as far as Kenzer Lee, but his shot went over the bar.
Purcell made a surging run through the middle before ending up flat on the ground, but the anticipated free kick on the edge of the area never materialised, as Purcell was booked for diving.
Two minutes later Purcell just failed to get onto the end of a Fanimo cross from the left, and shortly afterwards a hard shot from Jamie Hursit went narrowly wide.
On 65 minutes Fanimo again left defenders trailing and crossed into the middle, where Madden collided with a defender, and the ball ran loose to Purcell, but his hurried shot went wide of an open goal, and two minutes later a free kick caused panic in the home goalmouth when it was cleared to Purcell whose lob rebounded off the bar. The ball fell to Cooper who headed goalward but it was cleared off the line by a backtracking defender.
Tobi Joseph and Theo Fairweather-Johnson came on for Purcell and Livings, with Brad Warner already on for Fanimo, who had frequently left the Aveley defence struggling to keep up with his pace.
A second goal was long overdue, and with four minutes left of normal time a long clearance upfield was flicked on by McKenzie to Theo Fairweather-Johnson, who made no mistake from close range.
Three points, a clean sheet, and in the end a good, with the only consolation for Aveley being the record attendance at their new ground, thanks largely to a very large away following.