HORNCHURCH 2 CARSHALTON ATHLETIC 2
On a bright sunny day, the early morning snow had disappeared and Urchins, with the same line up as on Tuesday, kicked towards the windmill end of the ground, on a very soft pitch, which quickly cut up badly. A mistimed clearance gave Carshalton a corner in the first minute and Darren Behcet comfortably caught Kenny Beaney’s inswinging kick. Hornchurch began to press forward, and when Jamie Dormer split the defence with a long cross field pass out to Andy Tomlinson, Andy played the ball along the left to Jo Flack, who rounded keeper Nick Hamann and saw his shot kicked off the line by David Ray as the ball slowed in the soggy surface. Urchins almost scored when a long shot from Billy Coyne bounced off the cross bar. Carshalton had a chance to open the score when a long clearance allowed Richard Jolly to race clear, and Behcet did well to parry the shot, only for the ball to run back to Jolly, and this time it was Elliot Styles who moved in neatly to clear the follow up attempt. Michael Spencer then deflected Jolly’s shot out for a corner, and Ronnie Fletcher headed Beaney’s corner away.
The ball was played upfield and thence out to Duane Jackman who raced in from the left and was scythed down as he headed for goal. After a lengthy delay, up stepped JONATHAN HUNT to take the penalty and his left footed shot saw the ball crash into the net to give Urchins the lead. Carshalton almost levelled when a hopeful long range shot swerved onto the post. The Eastside were incensed by a series of decisions which went against Hornchurch and from one of these, a Beaney free kick was headed over by Craig Faulconbridge.
A Hunt free kick, awarded to ironic cheers from the Eastside, saw the ball touched short to Ben Boyce whose run was stopped by Robert Watkins, who conceded the corner. Hunt took the corner and played the ball to Boyce, whose shot went inches wide of the post. Urchins went further ahead when a long throw from Billy Coyne was turned out for a corner by Hamann. Hunt took the kick and the ball was played back to Hunt, out on the right, and his first time centre was headed home by JO FLACK.
Elliot Styles almost made it three with a header from Hunt’s free kick, the ball landing on the roof of the net. Andy Tomlinson did well to tackle when Jolly again almost broke through, but Carshalton were awarded a free kick shortly afterwards about five yards out, when many thought the decision should have gone the other way. Beaney quickly took the free kick, a poorly placed kick which Elliot Styles intercepted, only for the referee to order a re-take. This time Beaney hit his shot hard at the wall, and immediately appealed for a penalty, for hand ball, and the referee agreed with him. Darren Behcet was booked for protesting, but up stepped CRAIG FAULCONBRIDGE to slot the ball home. Another free kick from Beaney produced the anticipated penalty appeal but this time the referee was not impressed – and nor was anyone else in the ground.
On a rapidly deteriorating playing surface, Urchins normal smooth passing game was seriously hindered, and Carshalton slowly came more into the game. Murray fired wide soon after half time, and at the other end a Boyce cross was saved by Hamann as Jackman moved in. Boyce took a long pass from Coyne and won a corner, which Hunt took, and Watkins turned the ball out for another corner, and this time it was Hamann who cleared. Fletcher sent Boyce away but he was stopped by a last ditch tackle by David Woozley, and then Ross Wall replaced a limping Duane Jackman. Murray made a penetrating run before turning the ball inside to Beaney, who hit his shot high over the bar. Michael Spencer went close from a Hunt free kick, when his shot was deflected out by Ray for a corner.
Ben Boyce then raced back to tackle Murray who had been left unmarked on the right side when a long ball was pumped upfield, and Behcet dealt with the ensuing corner. And then Boyce made ground through the middle to touch the ball sideways to Ross Wall whose shot was parried by Hamann back to Boyce, whose follow up was blocked by the alert Hamann. Fletcher stopped a goalbound run by Faulconbridge and Behcet caught a corner from Beaney. With time running out Carshalton threw everyone forward and Barry Steverts centred from the right for DAVID RAY, left unmarked, to loop his header over Behcet and into the net to level the scores. Mark Janney came on for Ben Boyce but the closest Urchins came to scoring was when a hard shot by Jonathan Hunt was saved by Hamann.