Hornchurch – Bowles, Edmonds, Oluwole, Bolton (Parlour 70), Dipple, Barry, Holland, Dickens, Fanga, O’Connor (Shanahan 85), Farmer (Walker 60)

Unused Subs – none

Weeley Athletic – Freeman, Westripp, Griffin, Downes, Findlay, Davis, Payne, Heffer, Nash, King, Appleby

Subs – Law

Without a match on Saturday, many of our regular supporters took the opportunity to watch our Under 21 (reserve) side, who were at home to Weeley Athletic, of the Essex & Suffolk Border League, in the Essex Premier Cup.

We played Weeley last season in the same competition, and went down 4-3 to a last minute goal at their Clacton ground.

There were no goals in a lively first half, in which both teams had chances to open the score, with near misses at both ends.

The pattern continued in the second period, where both teams had chances to open the scoring, with visiting keeper Michael Freeman making an excellent save from Elie Fanga’s close-range header.

Hornchurch introduced Alfie Walker and his presence had an immediate impact, when he linked up with Emmanuel Oluwole, who sent over two good cross from the left wing, both of which went invitingly across the face of the goal.

Oluwole again opened up the right flank and sent a good cross over to Walker, but he put his shot wide of the goal.

With Weeley coming under increasing pressure, the deadlock was finally broken when Sam Dickens volleyed home from the edge of the area on 81 minutes.

Two minutes later Fanga was brought down on the edge of the area, but it was several minutes before the free kick could be taken, as the referee had to act forcefully to stop what was quickly developing into a multiple fracas.

Four minutes and several yellow cards later, Weeley found themselves a player short, as Tom Heffer received his second yellow card of the match.

Joe Shanahan replaced George O’Connor, and then at last the long-awaited free kick could be taken.

Sam Dickens strode up and calmly fired the ball over the wall and hard into the net to give Hornchurch a two-goal lead.

Within sixty seconds Weeley pulled a goal back, when a James Law free kick, from 40 yards out, was fumbled into the net.

But Hornchurch never looked in danger of conceding another goal, and most of the remaining play was at the other end, with Walker, Dickens and Frankie Holland now in full command in midfield.

Walker went close, and Hornchurch won a series of corners, until, in the fifth and final minute of stoppage time, Weeley went down to nine players when Matty Westripp was shown a straight red for dangerous play.




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