A first half Theo Fairweather-Johnson hat-trick plus goals from Warner, McKenzie and Assombalonga along with another solid defensive performance gave the Urchins a resounding win over local rivals Romford.

Wednesday 31-January-2018
ROMFORD 0 HORNCHURCH 6

RFC – May, Olukoga, Mvemba, Cossington, Finneran ©, Tiranhu, Nzengo, Jeaking (Nick Reynolds HT), Hornsley (Daly 87), Kyungu, Hammond (Sykes HT)
Subs – Atkinson, Steohen Reynolds

HFC – Mott, Hursit, Porter, Lee, Cooper, Styles ©, Livings, Roberts, Fairweather-Johnson (McKenzie 61), Purcell (Joseph 71), Warner (Assombalonga 68)

Officials – S Farrer with Fabien Le Houezec and Paul Greenfield

Scorers – Fairweather-Johnson 13 – Warner 22 – Fairweather-Johnson 41 – Fairweather-Johnson 44 – McKenzie 76 – Assombalonga 90

Attendance 147
No bookings
Duration 47.00 + 49.00

ROMFORD 0 HORNCHURCH 6

Although Romford had almost as much of the territorial possession as Hornchurch, the home defence were unable to cope with the visiting attack, and goals came at regular intervals.

After just thirty seconds Brad Warner ran through the home defence, only to put his shot wide of the near post, and as Hornchurch continued to press, they again went close when George Purcell made a solo run in from the left, only to be denied by goalkeeper James May.

Hornchurch took the lead soon after when Nathan Livings played the ball out to the left wing, and Purcell touched on to Warner, whose low cross into the goalmouth was prodded home by Theo Fairweather-Johnson.

Two minutes later Hornchurch won a free kick ten yards outside the area and on the left side of the field. Livings lurked, but it was Jamie Hursit who took the kick, his shot taking a deflection for a corner.

The second goal again stemmed from the left wing, after Purcell fed the ball out to Jay Porter, and his cross led to a goalmouth scramble, with Brad Warner calmly providing the all-important touch.

A long ball up the middle from Sam Mott reached Purcell, who ran forward, and his hard goal-bound shot was saved by James May.

Romford came forward, looking very dangerous, but they rarely managed to get past a resolute defence, where Kenzer Lee and Nathan Cooper dominated the middle, and the closest they came was when Jonathan Nzengo fired high and over the bar.

Hornchurch added two more goals in the five minutes before the interval, the first of which started with a Warner free kick out on the right, into the goalmouth, where May saved an Elliot Styles header, and the ball ran loose to Theo Fairweather-Johnson who made no mistake from close range, and it was Theo again who completed his first half hat-trick when he ran on to a long ball and although May got a hand to the shot, he could not prevent it from entering the net.

Romford introduced Nick Reynolds, their all-time top scorer, and Josh Sykes at half time, and twice came close in the first minute of the second period, but Mott saved well on both occasions. Five minutes later Fairweather-Johnson made a penetrating run, and pulled the ball back to Purcell, whose shot skimmed the bar.

Livings sent in a hard curling shot that May touched around the post, and Lee just failed to reach the resulting corner.

Romford replied with three corners in quick succession, none of which troubled the Hornchurch defence, and play switched back to the other end where Leon McKenzie, on for Fairweather-Johnson, was only inches away from the ball after Porter had left the home defence in disarray on the left.

A Nzengo shot was turned out for a corner, and manager Jim McFarlane introduced Chris Assombalonga and Tobi Joseph, for Purcell and Warner, but if Romford were relieved that the two strikers were being taken off, they were in for a massive shock, as Hornchurch stepped up the pace and continued to come forward.

At the other end Cooper made a fine tackle to deny Reynolds, but predictably the fifth goal came at the other end, after Assombalonga won possession and played he ball towards the far post for Leon McKenzie to place into the net.

Two minutes later Sam Mott made a magnificent save, tipping a Luke Hornsley shot over the bar, with Sean Roberts clearing the corner.

A feature of the match was that on seven occasions Sam Mott had thrown the ball out, four times to Hursit and three to Porter, enabling our attacks to be build up from the back, but in the final minute Mott launched a massive kick upfield, and Chris Assombalonga quickly gained possession and rounded the keeper to score goal number six.

It could have been seven, but May reacted quickly to save from Nathan Livings, on a night when Romford were unable to cope with an in-form Hornchurch side.