Hornchurch’s unbeaten start to the league campaign ended at home to Dereham Town but the Magpies were made to work hard for their win as the Urchins controlled the game for long periods following Ryan Crisp’s 19th minute opener.
HORNCHURCH 0 DEREHAM TOWN 1
HFC – Mott, Hursit, Porter, Lee ©, Cooper, Roberts (Joseph 83), Fairweather-Johnson, Chouman, Wall, Purcell, Warner
Subs – McKenzie, Tuohy, Hussain, Styles
DT – Pride, Anema, Murphy (Bibby 89), Hinton ©, Castellan, Linford, Logan (Dodden 90+3), Kelleher, Crisp (Katsande 87), Forshaw, Beaumont
Sub – Bean
Officials – Jamaal Horne with Christopher Price and Aivaras Lukauskis
Scorer – Crisp 19
Booking – Linford 77 (DT)
Duration 46.00 + 49.00
HFC – red and white stripes / black/ black
DT – green / white / blue
HORNCHURCH 0 DEREHAM TOWN 1
Dereham arrived late after experiencing long hold-ups on the M25 and the match did not start until 8.15.
Hornchurch started strongly, winning a corner when a George Purcell centre from the left was miskicked by Matthew Castellan, the ball passing dangerously close to an own goal.
Hornchurch looked sharp and Purcell sent a shot wide after good work by Ross Wall to create the opening.
Dereham began to get over the effects of arriving late after a three hour minibus journey, and Jamie Forshaw went close with a shot on the turn.
Back at the other end, a Purcell free kick cannoned back off the wall to Jamie Hursit, whose long range shot went a fraction too high and over.
Dereham were now looking confident and they took the lead in a move starting on the half way line when Owen Murphy switched play into the centre, the ball reaching Ryan Crisp, who ran a few paces forward and fired home from ten yards outside the area, for the opening and only goal of the match.
Jed Chouman fired wide from a Brad Warner cross, and back at the other end a Rhys Logan cross was deflected for a corner. Logan was again in action on the half hour, rounding Jay Porter and Sam Mott, only to put the ball wide of an open goal.
Hornchurch came back with a Warner corner, which found Nathan Cooper, and visiting keeper Elliot Pride saved his goalbound header.
Close to half time, a long kick from Mott saw Purcell running through, but he could not control the ball in the swirling wind and Pride came out to gather.
Dereham had looked sharp and more direct in the first half, but they were forced to defend for long periods in the second half, which started with two corners in the first minute, neither of which came to anything, and when Warner missed a cross from Theo Fairweather-Johnson, it began to look as though this was not going to be Hornchurch’s night.
Dereham looked dangerous on the few occasions they were able to break out of defence, and Mott saved well from Jamie Forshaw, the ball being quickly returned up field where a Fairweather-Johnson shot from the right hit a defender and went out for a corner, which was deflected for a second corner, which was directed too low and was comfortably cleared.
Dereham were now forced to defend in numbers, but were exposed when Warner broke down the left and sent in a low cross that eluded Ross Wall.
With the pressure building a Fairweather-Johnson shot was turned out for a corner, that Matthew Castellan headed away but only as far as Purcell, but his shot was too high and over.
On the hour a Purcell free kick beat the packed defence but came back off the bar, and shortly afterwards a Jay Porter cross was headed wide by Wall.
The visitors survived a massive goalmouth scramble and Fairweather-Johnson headed wide from Warner’s centre, and as Hornchurch continued to press they left themselves open at the back and Crisp almost added a second with a hard shot that Mott saved.
Tobi Joseph came on for Sean Roberts and was quickly involved with a good run, but he could not get his shot in before being crowded out. With time running out, Kenzer Lee headed over from a Warner centre, and Dereham broke up proceedings with three late substitutions.
In the four minutes added for stoppages, the Dereham goal came under sustained pressure, and with the final kick of the match Pride just managed to keep out a shot from close range to earn the visitors three points.