An under par Hornchurch suffered only their second defeat in their last 25 Ryman league games as a brace from Cheshunt’s Jason Hallett ensured it was the Ambers who returned home with maximum points.
HORNCHURCH 1 CHESHUNT 2
HFC – Mott, Cohen (Tuohy 73), Nesbitt, Bentley ©, Cooper (Da Cruz 81), Chouman, Thompson, Lee, McKenzie, Wall, Adeniji (Joseph 63)
Subs – Hussain, Coker
CFC – May, Clemo, Spearman, Kizzi, Kendall ©, Illsely, Thomas, Lampe, Hope, Hallett, Lataaya (Lopes 90+4)
Subs – Smyth, Brothwood, Fletcher
Officials – Dan Bolleywell with Kirsty Dowle and Jak Hill
Scorers – Hallett 11 (CFC) – Hallett 76 (CFC) – Tuohy 87 (H)
Bookings – Wall 37 (H) – Spearman 41 (CFC) – Thompson 53 (H) – Lampe 58 (CFC)
Duration 49.00 + 51.00
HORNCHURCH 1 CHESHUNT 2
This was a must-win match if Hornchurch wanted to have a realistic chance of winning the league, but they were well below their normal standard and lost to a Cheshunt team who frustrated the Urchins and broke up play throughout. That said, they were frequently in command, thanks to a large extent to their defence, where their captain, Dave Kendall, dominated and allowed the home forwards few opportunities.
The opening period saw chances few and far between. Cheshunt had the first scoring chance, when Kendall moved up for a corner, but he put his shot high and wide.
Two minutes later Cheshunt took the lead, when an unmarked Jason Hallett headed home from a left wing centre.
Sam Mott did well to hold on to an inswinging corner from James Thomas, and at the other end Hornchurch rarely managed to get past a resolute defence. Nathan Cooper came closest, when he ran on to a Leon McKenzie pass, but James May was quick to grab the ball before Cooper could shoot.
Cheshunt sent two long range shots over the bar, but Hornchurch were denied a possible equaliser when McKenzie sent a cross field pass to Abs Thompson, whose rapid run towards the goal was halted by a cynical foul on the edge of the area, and the free kick was sent over by Teddy Nesbitt but fielded by May in the visiting goal.
Hornchurch appeared more determined after the interval, but the second half was punctuated by a series of stoppages, which broke up the play.
Ross Wall went close from a Jed Chouman pass, and at the other end Gary Cohen did well to tackle as James Thomas homed in from the left.
Hornchurch made two substitutions, Tobi Joseph coming on for Ozzie Adeniji, and Martin Tuohy replacing Gary Cohen.
Hornchurch looked capable of pulling back the deficit, but they fell further behind to a fluke goal, when a clearance rebounded off a surprised but delighted Jason Hallett and bobbled into the net.
Hornchurch then lost Nathan Cooper, who limped off, to be replaced by JJ Da Cruz, and, with three minutes to go, Hornchurch pulled a goal back. Thompson moved inside and surged past two lunging tackles, before the ball was eventually booted out for a corner on the left. Nesbitt floated the ball over, Joseph headed on, and Martin Tuohy touched home at the far post.
The remaining minutes saw Cheshunt defending desperately, and in stoppage time they pulled everyone back, and survived shots from Wall and McKenzie to hold out and take the points, in what was a very disappointing result for Hornchurch, who also lost two players, Cohen and Cooper, with injuries.