The Urchins recovered from a goal down to lead courtesy of strikes from Fairweather-Johnson and Elliot Styles but a goal 8 minutes from time restored parity as Hornchurch relinquished their 100% away record.
TILBURY 2 HORNCHURCH 2
T – Bogard, Odelusi, Dance, Aiken (Little 81), Salami, Turpin (Mead 53), Newby, Carlile, Vyse ©, Jaggs (Smith 81), McWee
Subs – Gulliver, Keith
HFC – Mott, Bentley, Porter, Lee, Cooper, Chouman, Fairweather-Johnson, Styles ©, Joseph, Purcell, Fanimo (Oluwatimilehin 72)
Subs – Roberts, Quitirna, Hursit
Officials – C Barnett with S Tate and A Baker
Scorers – Salami 14 (T) – Fairweather-Johnson 27 (H) – Styles 51 (H) – Tyse 82 (T)
Bookings – Aiken 68 (T) – Purcell 69 (H) – Oluwatimilehin 82 (H)
Duration 47.00 + 50.00
TILBURY 2 HORNCHURCH 2
Hornchurch lost their 100% away record when Tilbury scored a late equalizer on a day when a strong downfield wind affected both teams, with passes going astray.
Hornchurch took the field without Bradley Warner, injured, and Leon McKenzie, suspended for one match after picking up five yellow cards. Tobi Joseph took over at centre forward, and Matthias Fanimo came into the starting line up in midfield.
Hornchurch faced both the setting sun and the strong wind in the first half, and had an early scare when Adam Vyse found himself clear, with only Sam Mott to beat, but Mott reacted well to smother the ball at his feet.
A Tilbury corner shortly afterwards curled goalwards, but the ball went across the goal and was hooked to safety.
Hornchurch had still not managed to mount an attack, and it was no surprise when Tilbury took the lead on 14 minutes, when Jack Carlile floated a free kick towards the far post, the ball was headed back across goal and Abdul Salami prodded home from close range.
Hornchurch had a scare when Sam Mott went down, and he needed a long spell of treatment before being able to resume.
Hornchurch began to come into the picture as an attacking force when a Fanimo corner was headed away, and it was Fanimo who set up the equalizer on 27 minutes, when he played an excellent ball over the defence from the left side of the field, and Theo Fairweather-Johnson ran forward to swerve his shot past Clarke Bogard and into the net.
A Fanimo corner was headed away, before Tobi Joseph played a through pass to George Purcell, and his hard drive was deflected past the post for a corner, and a wind-affected first half ended all square.
Hornchurch took control for long periods in the second half, but Sam Mott was limping, as his earlier injury appeared to get worse as the match progressed.
Two minutes into the half, a Purcell shot was deflected for a corner, but Purcell’s corner kick was headed away. Four minutes later Hornchurch took the lead, when Purcell gained possession on the right, and sent over a high ball towards the far post, where Elliot Styles brought it quickly under control and placed the ball firmly into the net.
Tilbury came back briefly, when Nathan Cooper conceded a free kick, and Carlile floated the ball past the defence, but also wide of the post.
A Purcell corner was headed away, and in a Tilbury breakaway, the limping Mott came to the rescue with an excellent save, with the follow-up shot hammered high over the bar.
Bogard at the other end saved well from a Purcell free kick, and as the match moved into the final stages, Hornchurch appeared comfortable. And then it all changed.
Olumide Oluwatimilehin came on for Fanimo, and Hornchurch went on the defensive, but seemed to have things under control, and almost increased their lead when Fairweather-Johnson sent in a shot from 30 yards out, but narrowly wide of the near post.
With less than ten minutes left to play Adam Vyse ran through from the left and fired home to bring the scores level.
Mott then made another fine save, turning the shot around the post, and Kenzer Lee completed the clearance, heading the corner away.
With five minutes added on for stoppages Hornchurch twice came close to regaining the lead, when a Jay Porter shot was saved by Bogard, and in the final seconds the Tilbury goal survived a goalmouth scramble, the ball eventually being deflected wide.