KINGSTONIAN 0 HORNCHURCH 2
Team news – Joe Anderson was absent due to injury, and Lewis Smith has one more match of his suspension left. Strip news – Hornchurch played in blue and white stripes instead of purple, as their black shorts and socks would otherwise have clashed with the home side. Admission news – the £7 concession charge is the highest in the league.
Hornchurch were forced to defend in the first few minutes, and it was Joe Woolley who was first in action when he caught a high centre from Sam Clayton under the bar. Kingstonian continued to press and when Aaron Goode played a long ball up to Matt Pattison, it took a timely interception by Rickie Hayles to prevent a scoring opportunity.
Hornchurch soon settled down and took the lead with their first attack of the match, when Fola Orilonishe gained possession inside his own half and played a long ball up field for MARTIN TUOHY to calmly round Rob Tolfrey and stroke the ball into the net.
Kingstonian quickly came back, winning a corner on the left, and it was Michael Spencer who headed the ball away for a corner, this time on the right. Tom Bird came across to take the corner and Hayles headed away to clear the danger.
Fola Orilonishe took a good pass from Simon Glover to open up the left side, and he weaved a path through, only to be stopped by Gary MacDonald, whose well timed tackle sent the ball out for a corner. Jon Hunt sent the ball over, but Tolfrey gathered, despite the attention of Elliot Styles and Frankie Curley.
A fine run along the left wing by Michael Spencer ended with an equally good centre which Tolfrey did well to hold and keep the ball out of the net.
And Spencer was again in action, this time at the other end, when he chased Ryan Woods down the right wing, and Michael’s tackle earned the home side a free kick and Michael a booking. Pattison took the free kick, and Reiss Noel headed the ball away for a corner. Pattison sent the ball dangerously close to the goal and Woolley made a good save, right under the bar.
Kingstonian had a good chance to level when Clayton was gifted the ball thanks to a dreadfully misplaced pass, and Clayton ran down the left before crossing, and the unmarked Woods headed high over the bar.
Seconds later Woods again was gifted with the ball but this time he hit it weakly towards Woolley.
Hornchurch now began to dominate, and when Spencer slotted the ball through to Orilonishe, Fola again weaved past two defenders, before crossing perfectly for Martin Tuohy, whose header was well saved by Tolfrey.
Kingstonian had little to offer apart from a long penetrating cross from Pattison which was neatly chested away by Styles.
Hornchurch began to cause the home defence some considerable problems, and won a free kick when Tuohy was bundled over. Hunt took the free kick, playing a quick pass with Simon Glover, and then Hunt sent the ball deep into the home penalty area, where Martin Tuohy flicked it over Tolfrey and into the net, but the goal was ruled out by a linesman’s flag for offside.
Hornchurch started the second half strongly, and Noel sent a good pass to Hunt, who was tripped by Bird. Hunt took the kick, and Elliot Styles headed narrowly over the bar.
A Fola run led to another corner but Hunt pitched the ball too low and it was easily cleared, and Hornchurch almost increased their lead when Leon McKenzie exchanged passes with Tuohy to slot the ball through to Hunt, who was scythed down by Simon Huckle just outside the area, and after a lengthy pause for thought, Huckle must have been relieved to escape with a yellow card. Hunt took the free kick, and Tolfrey made an excellent save, with Bird kicking the loose ball off the line and to safety.
It was Hunt who then created a marvellous opportunity when he chipped the ball through to McKenzie, who ran on, rounded Tolfrey, but was under pressure and could only place the ball into the side netting.
A second goal was long overdue and it came when Frankie Curley won the ball in midfield, quickly touched it out to Fola on the left, and Fola sped down the wing, before crossing into the goalmouth where MARTIN TUOHY was waiting to plant the ball firmly into the net.
Orilonishe next opened up the left wing to give Spencer a shooting chance, and Tolfrey again made a good save, whilst Jon Hunt sent in a curling shot which went inches wide after McKenzie had completely opened up the home defence.
Kingstonian then enjoyed a spell of sustained pressure starting when Bashiru Alimi crossed into the goalmouth where Traynor was beaten to the ball by Hayles, to concede the first of four successive corners. Woods took all of them, two from the left and two from the right. The lengthy siege ended when Reiss Noel headed away to Frankie Curley who simply hit the ball as far up field as he could.
And it was Curley’s long clearance which led to a corner at the other end, when McKenzie threatened to break through. Hunt sent the ball over and Styles headed a fraction wide of the post. Styles then had a further chance when he turned sharply on to Hunt’s pass and fired his shot narrowly past the far post.
Tambeson Eyong came on for Jon Hunt, and kept up the pressure on the right wing, whilst Andy Tomlinson replaced Leon McKenzie. Michael Spencer had a shot well saved by Tolfrey, before Hornchurch settled on defending the remaining few minutes, for what amounted to a comfortable win.