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SEASON 2008/09

SEASON 2008/09

F.A. Challenge Cup - First Round Proper
Sunday 9th November 2008
AFC Hornchurch
0 - 1
Peterborough United
H/T 0 - 0 Att.: 3000
Mackail-Smith 90+1

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Match Synopsis
AFC Hornchurch
Peterborough United
Sub: Mackail-Smith for Torres
Sub: Batt for Green
Sub: Parker for Lee
Booking: Green
Booking: Styles
Sub: McFarlane for Purdie
Goal: Mackail-Smith
Sub: Hodges for Brown

Match Report by Tony Middleton 


Only just 40 tickets remained unsold at the Hornchurch end, whilst the visitors returned over 600 of their somewhat over generous allocation, and a packed ground greeted the Urchins as they took the field. With three on from strikers, it was Kris Lee in the starting line up for Simon Parker. Urchins kicked towards the windmill end of the ground in the first half, and it was the visitors who took the initiative, when a free kick forced Dale Brightly into a diving save at the expense of a corner in the first minute. Martin took the corner, which was cleared by Mark Goodfellow. Urchins quickly settled, and a long up field kick by Brightly forced Zakuani to head wildly behind his own goal. Andy Tomlinson floated the corner across, and the ball was part cleared by Williams, but Donny Barnard played it straight back to Kris Lee, whose vicious shot skimmed the bar.

Peterborough were clearly overawed at playing in front of a packed and very noisy home crowd, but overcame their nervousness and was awarded a free kick midway inside the Urchins half. Brightly punched the ball away and Barnard completed the clearance, almost sending Mark Janney away down the wing, the ball just running out of play. With Urchins coming forward, Elliot Styles, in his element in midfield, sent a magnificent pass out to Tomlinson, which the away captain Russell Martin just managed to intercept. Brightly fielded another hopefully hit ball and then played his trademark long up field clearances right into the path of Kris Lee, who ran on and shot. Lewis did well to save, but the ball ran out to the right where Mark Janney sent it back into the goalmouth, and a huge roar went up as Dean Green turned the ball into the net, to be silenced a moment later as the referee, not Mr Crick, disallowed the goal.

Urchins conceded a corner but Barnard dealt capably with Martin’s inswinging kick, and then the Urchins had a free kick of their own, for a blatant hand ball. Janney touched the ball to Lee Brown but his cross went begging in front of goal. Peterborough tried to come forward, and McLean had a good chance when he broke through, and Purdie tackled to concede a corner, which Martin took and Tomlinson cleared. Janney then won the ball from Williams and set off down the wing, his cross going out to the other wing where Tomlinson sent the ball back again, and Lewis did well to hold the ball as Dean Green came in.

At the other end, Martin went down the wing and although he seemed to have put the ball behind, the referee awarded a corner, which Martin took and Brightly punched clear. For the most part it was Urchins now coming forward, as the visitors were unsettled, and Frank Curley won a free kick ten yards outside the area, which Barnard took, laying the ball out to Janney, who crossed and Williams just got there ahead of Dean Green. Peterborough were fortunate to escape when Dean Green raced after a loose ball and Lewis collided with Dean as both went for the ball, which ran loose, but there was no one close enough to take advantage. A Lee Brown free kick created a massive scramble when Joe Lewis, surely the tallest player in the football league, dropped the ball, and Morgan eventually hammered the ball away. Towards half time Peterborough had a chance of their own when they were awarded a very dubious free kick, ten yards out, and Martin saw his well placed shot tipped around by Brightly. Martin took the corner, and Goodfellow headed away.

Half time, and the club shop was packed with people wanting shirts, rattles, scarves, badges and just about anything connected with Hornchurch. At last, after four years, the little pub team are back on the map, not that they have ever been away. The queue stretched right out the door, and all hot food was sold out. Best of all, were the many who had returned after deserting the Urchins when they were forced down into the Essex Senior League.

The first fifteen minutes of the second half saw play largely confined to midfield apart from one Peterborough attempt which went narrowly wide. But slowly the Urchins regained control. When Curley was fouled, Tomlinson’s free kick was played to Curley and on to Brown, and thence to Styles, whose cross was headed away by Williams but only as far as Janney who powered the ball back into the middle where a defender almost headed into his own net, forcing Lewis to make a very good save.

Peterborough put on Mackail-Smith and Batt as they tried desperately to weather the storm, and it was Batt who put a good ball into the goalmouth which Brightly punched away. The ball was promptly played back across goal, and the resultant shot from Mackail-Smith went wide.

Simon Parker then came on for Kris Lee, but it was the visitors who briefly held the ascendancy, when Purdie headed away a free kick and it was put back into the middle, where Goodfellow conceded the corner. Martin took the corner and hit the ball far too long, and it was Martin who repeated the performance two minutes later when he hit another corner across to the far side of the pitch. Back came the Urchins, and Dean Green played an excellent pass ahead of Simon Parker, who was just beaten to the ball by Lewis’ frantic rush out of his area to head clear. Yet another corner from Martin was hit far too long and Purdie cleared, and then Coutts sent a good pass to Keates, with Barnard tackling well, but the ball was played back by Martin to Batt who placed his cross not only behind the goal, but also behind the ranks of away supporters packed onto the terracing.

With Harry’s song echoing around the EastSide, there was a huge roar when Brightly’s long kick saw Lewis rush out to clear, and Purdie headed the ball back again, and Simon Parker was just thwarted by Lewis who raced out to clear, colliding with Simon in the process. As the wind increased and the rain began to fall, so Peterborough took advantage, and a wind aided centre from the left forced Brightly into a diving save to turn the ball out for a corner, which Martin once again hit far too long and out of play on the other side.

Urchins now stormed forward and pounded the Peterborough defence. Brightly pumped another long ball up field, Dean Green ran on and shot, forcing Lewis into a magnificent save, to turn the ball out for a corner, which Tomlinson took and Urchins were awarded a free kick, ten yards out, for hand ball. Tomlinson sidefooted the kick to Janney on the right and Mark saw his cross deflected for a corner. Janney took the kick and Zakuani headed away, and Mark played the ball back, with Zakuani once again managing to clear. This lead to a break away at the other end and Brightly only half cleared, to Mackail-Smith, who however shot well wide.

Brightly took the goal kick and this led to Simon Parker chasing through the middle, and Lewis conceded the corner. Janney took the kick, found Tomlinson, whose cross was headed out by Williams. And then it happened. John Purdie needed lengthy attention and limped off, to be replaced by Jim McFARLANE. Inside a minute a harmless shot was going nowhere at all, until the ball bobbled right in front of Brightly, who did not hold on to the ball, and it rolled out to a delighted CRAIG MICKAEL-SMITH, who tapped it home for the only goal of the match.

Injustice it may have been, but Peterborough were in front, and Lee Hodges came on as it was now everyone going forward. This left the defence open and Batt won a corner, but Martin overhit the ball once again. Urchins came forward in numbers and Lewis had to race out of race to head clear from Parker, the ball running out to Janney who touched inside to Dean Green, whose shot forced an excellent save from the over-worked Lewis. In the fifth minute of stoppage time, Parker tried a solo break on the right but his shot cum cross went behind, and the whistle went a few seconds later.

Urchins lost, they did not deserve to lose, and to lose to a soft goal in stoppage time is not the best way to go out of any competition. Many doubted that Hornchurch could come back from their demotion a few seasons ago. Colin McBride and the team have proved the doubters wrong, and in the most spectacular fashion – in front of a packed ground, with the highlights on TV, and radio commentary.

Video Clips Courtesy of ITV

Team Line Ups
AFC Hornchurch
Peterborough United
Dale Brightly
Joe Lewis
Donny Barnard
Russell Martin (c)
Lee Brown
Tom Williams
John Purdie (c)
Craig Morgan
Mark Goodfellow
Gabriel Zakuani
Andy Tomlinson
Sergio Torres
Frankie Curley
Dean Keates
Mark Janney
Paul Coutts
Kris Lee
Dominic Green
Dean Green
Aaron McLean
Elliot Styles
George Boyd
Subs.       Subs.
Simon Parker
James MacKeown
Billy Coyne
Chris Westwood
Lee Hodges
Lewis Webb
Ross Wall
Sam Gauchren
Mitchell Stuart-Evans
Craig Mackail-Smith
Jim McFarlane
Shaun Batt
Michael Bowditch
Danny Blanchett

Match Sponsors: Dagenham Motors (Plaistow) Ltd. and P. J. Weller Ltd.

Weather Conditions: 10 Degs. C., Showers, Wind Speed 5-15 mph
Match Officials: Referee - Mr. K. D. Hill, Assistants - Mr. M. D. Rowley and Mr. S. J. Long
Match duration: F/H 46 mins. 00 secs., S/H 51 mins. 00 secs.

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