HORNCHURCH 3 WEST HAM UNITED XI 1
Hornchurch had no difficulty in overcoming a very poor West Ham side, and the turn out of 374 included only a handful of West Ham supporters, but it did include two returnees to the Urchins fold, with Aveley Dave and a very animated Biased Bob, whose words of advice to the match officials have not diminished after a season on sabbatical.
The match started in now traditional fashion – Tambeson Eyong was chopped down three times in quick succession. Hornchurch took an early lead when Michael Spencer sent over an inswinging corner from the right, and everyone missed it – everyone except MARTIN TUOHY, who calmly glanced the ball into the net.
With West Ham totally at sea – perhaps they were unsettled by the Lancaster bomber which was flying overhead from a nearby air show – another Spencer corner was scrambled off the line, and a Lewis Smith run from the left resulted in a good cross to Tuohy, whose flick on was grabbed by keeper Jake Larkins on the line. Play continued to be one way traffic, and a Lewis Smith run ended when he hit his shot just wide of the post.
Frankie Curley added to the pressure when he played the ball through to Tuohy who ran forward and Larkins made an excellent save from the resulting shot. Up until now West Ham had done absolutely nothing of note, but a loud cry of ‘Elliot’ denoted that Elliot Styles was coming to head a long upfield ball away, and this proved to be the full extent of the visitors’ attacking force until they levelled the score in either sensational style or by a complete fluke. The ball was work out to the right side of the field, and LEE TURGOT weaved a space for himself close to the touchline. He then fired over a misplaced cross or an excellent dipping shot, and the ball dipped over Darren Behcet and into the net.
Hornchurch promptly continued where they had left off, and the visiting goal was kept under siege. Simon Glover had taken over Jon Hunt’s role in midfield and it was from one of his passes that Martin Tuohy again went close.
With the scores level at half time, it did not reflect the supremacy of the home side, who wasted no time in getting back into the lead. Tambeson Eyong was again fouled, and the short free kick resulted in a hard drive that hit a defender. MARTIN TUOHY reacted the quickest to put the ball firmly into the net.
Elliot Styles then almost caught out the somewhat flat Irons defence with a sixty yard shot which was fielded by Larkins, and Michael Spencer had a good opening, but his finishing was somewhat adrift as he hit the ball wide of the post. With Dave McSweeney and Reiss Noel in complete control, once again Darren Behcet only had one direct shot to save. Ashley Taylor-Forbes almost got onto the scoresheet with a good run on the left and his shot was well saved by the overworked Larkins.
The third goal was arguably the best of the day, and it started with Tambeson Eyong gaining possession inside his own half. Tambeson powered forward, with the visitors lining up to get out of his way, and exchanged passes with Lewis Smith, before a quick through pass to MARTIN TUOHY, who immediately hammered the ball into the net.
It was now time for massed substitutions, and on came Tommy Black, for Eyong, but any relief felt by the visitors was all too brief as Tommy took over where Tambeson had left off, and opened up the West Ham defence seemingly at ease. Aaron Gayle twice went close but there were no further goals and Hornchurch now look forward to the final pre season match when Maidstone are the visitors next Saturday at 1 pm – the match on Tuesday at Heybridge has been called off as Heybridge are playing a showbiz side instead.