A penalty 15 minutes from time was enough to give AFC Sudbury the points in a game where defences were on top and chances at a premium.

Saturday 17-February-2018

S – Walker, Mills, Coakley, Holland, French, Whight ©, Peters, Wright, Kelly (Hunter HT), McKenzie, Horne (Crisell 87)
Subs – Clowsley, Mundawarara, Maycock

HFC – Palmer, Hursit, Porter, Styles ©, Cooper, Livings (Oluwatimilehin 78), Fairweather-Johnson, Roberts, Assombalonga (Warner 60), Purcell, Joseph
Subs – Bentley, Hogan, Lambert

Officials – Andy Gray with Michael Jarvis and James Pope

Scorer – Joe Whight 74p

Bookings – Livings 35 (H) – Styles 73 (H)
Attendance 315
Duration 46.00 + 48.00

Sudbury – yellow / blue / yellow
HFC – red & white / black / red & white


After missing an excellent chance to open the scoring after less than a minute, chances were limited and the only goal came from a penalty fifteen minutes from time.

Hornchurch were without Leon McKenzie, who will also miss the next game, due to suspension, Kenzer Lee, still injured, and also lacking Sam Mott who broke a finger and will be out for some weeks, with Harry Palmer, signed from Brightlingsea, making his debut in goal.

Less than one minute into the match, a long ball from Jay Porter found Christian Assombalonga racing towards goal. He lobbed the keeper, but the shot was wide of the post, and an excellent opportunity was lost.

A Sudbury free kick went across the face of the goal, with no one able to get a touch, and back at the other end a Nathan Livings corner found Theo Fairweather-Johnson but his shot was blocked. On 20 minutes Assombalonga played the ball to Livings but he put his shot wide of the target.

On the half hour George Purcell crossed and the ball was diverted for a corner. Livings sent the ball towards the near post and a header was blocked on the line, before the ball was scrambled to safety.

Sudbury had few chances, the best being from a corner that was headed away and from a long throw that was headed straight at Harry Palmer.

In first half stoppage time a Purcell free kick came back off the wall, this being the last kick of the half.

Hornchurch started the second half confidently, a Jamie Hursit free kick sailing into the goalmouth where home keeper Paul Walker made a good catch, under pressure.

At the other end, Palmer saved from Ryan Horne, turning the cross away for a corner. Ten minutes into the second period a Purcell corner was only partly cleared as far as Livings, who turned the ball back towards the far post, where Nathan Cooper headed just over the bar.

Play was largely confined to midfield and neither keeper had much to do, until, fifteen minutes from time, Brad Warner conceded a penalty, and although Palmer got a hand to the shot, he could not prevent Joe Whight’s penalty from entering the net.

Hornchurch could not find a way through in the remaining time, the best being a Hursit free kick that was scrambled away for a corner, and a Warner run that ended with the ball being deflected away for a corner, and the final whistle went as soon as the corner was headed away.

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