Following a lacklustre first half in which neither side could gain any control the Urchins burst into life in the second period scoring 3 goals in a blistering 9 minute spell before finally running out 4-1 winners.
HORNCHURCH 4 ROMFORD 1
HFC – Mott, Hursit, Porter, Lee, Cooper, Chouman, Joseph (Tuohy 85), Styles ©, Wall (Fairweather-Johnson 79), Purcell (McKenzie 74), Warner
Subs – Hussain, Goodacre
RFC – Reynolds, Burt-Allen, Cossington ©, Ishmail (Taylor 70), Vickers, Dicks, Adebayo, Brown (Clarke 66), Giwa, Jeakins, Modeste (Nzengo 66)
Subs – Olukoga, Martin
Officials – Dave Harrison with Jamie Pope and Adam Miller
Scorers – Lee 49 (H) – Warner 52 (H) – Purcell 57p (H) – Dicks 67(RFC) – Warner 90+2
Bookings – Adebayo 25 (RFC) – Modeste 26 (RFC) – Hursit 31 (H) – Styles 40 (H) – Purcell 42 (H) – Clarke 87 (RFC)
Duration 46.00 + 49.00
H – red and white stripes / black / black
RFC – blue and yellow / blue / blue
HORNCHURCH 4 ROMFORD 1
On a day when the temperature was in the 80s, the first half had little to enthuse about, as both sides gave away few scoring opportunities. For the first twenty minutes play was mainly concentrated in the Romford midfield but goalkeeper Steven Reynolds had no need to make a save.
The first opportunity fell to Elliot Styles who moved on to a Brad Warner corner, but the shot cannoned back off the massed defence.
George Purcell had a chance to open the scoring when he moved in from the left wing, but he fired his shot wide of the far post.
Two Romford players were shown a yellow card in the space of a minute, and manager Paul Martin was on the receiving end of a lecture soon afterwards.
Jamie Hursit was next to go into the book for a mistimed tackle, and from the free kick Romford had their first chance of the match, which came to nothing as Kenzer Lee was ideally placed to block.
Elliot Styles went into the book for a foul close to the half way line, but the booking of Purcell, for a 50-50 challenge on the keeper, seemed very harsh.
On 45 minutes Olakunle Giwa sent in a hard shot that Nathan Cooper deflected around the post, and Hursit cleared the corner with ease.
Surprisingly, despite the bookings and two lengthy stoppages, only one minute was added to the half.
It was a question whether Hornchurch could find a way through the blue and yellow defensive wall, and, kicking towards the windmill end in the second half, the answer was prompt and decisive.
On 49 minutes Sam Mott took a free kick after a Romford player was flagged offside. Elliot Styles headed on, and Kenzer Lee flicked the ball past a confused defence, with keeper Reynolds making only a halfhearted attempt at saving.
Three minutes later George Purcell sent over an excellent centre following a corner, and Brad Warner headed home.
Romford briefly replied, when Craig Jeakins sent in a long range shot which was a long way wide of the target. James Ishmail did much the same a minute later, but the third goal quickly followed. Purcell sent a cross over from the right, Tobi Joseph ran forward and was brought down. Up stepped George Purcell to fire home the penalty for the third goal inside eight minutes.
Romford had no answer as Hornchurch surged forward again. Ross Wall to Joseph, who made ground on the right and crossed to Purcell, but his shot went wide.
Purcell then provided Warner with a shooting chance, but his shot rose a fraction too high and over the bar.
Romford made a double substitution and pulled a goal back when a free kick was awarded a few yards outside the area. Jamie Dicks took the kick, which took a huge deflection and sailed over Mott and into the net.
Two minutes later Wall got onto the end of a Warner cross, but his header hit the bar and went behind.
It was then the turn of Purcell who ran on to a Wall pass, and although he lobbed the keeper the ball went wide of the goal.
Theo Fairweather-Johnson, Leon McKenzie and Martin Tuohy all came on, and the Hornchurch onslaught continued. In the final minute of stoppage time Brad Warner ran in from the right to fire home the fourth goal, to complete 45 minutes of dominance and devastating finishing.