|Sat, 13th Jan 2018||3:00 PM||Isthmian League Division 1 North||2017 / 18|
In an extraordinary fixture Hornchurch took the lead 3 times but on each occasion Abbey restored parity before they themselves led with 15 minutes to go. But the Urchins rallied and scored twice in the last 7 minutes to take all 3 points and win the match by the odd goal in 9.
HORNCHURCH 5 WALTHAM ABBEY 4
HFC – Mott, Bentley, Porter, Styles ©, Cooper, Oluwatimilehin, Roberts (Purcell 81), Livings, Fairweather-Johnson, Warner (Joseph 70), Fanimo
Subs – McKenzie, Hursit, Lee
WA – Rossetti, Glasgow, Joynes, Robbins, Sylvester, Daveney, Gordon (Russell 65), Holland ©, Assombalonga, Ngandu (Hahn 87), Korenteng (Coley 81)
Subs – Spencer, Lockyer
Officials – James Simpson with Lawrence Torz-Brown and Turan Yesilyurt
Scorers – Robbins 8 (og), Assombalonga 20 (WA), Fairweather-Johnson 34 (H) – Holland 36 (WA) – Fanimo 43 (H) – Koranteng 63 (WA) – Daveney 74 (WA) – Livings 83 (H) – Purcell 90+1 (H)
Bookings – Joynes 57 (WA) – Daveney 74 (WA) – Sylvester 82 (WA)
Duration 47.00 + 49.00
HORNCHURCH 5 WALTHAM ABBEY 4
In a match of defensive errors and world class strikes, Hornchurch won with an injury time special from George Purcell, who had earlier created the equalising goal less than thirty seconds after coming on as substitute.
The afternoon began well for Hornchurch when Brad Warner took a corner on 8 minutes, and Sam Robbins could only help the ball over the line under extreme pressure from Theo Fairweather-Johnson.
On 12 minutes a penetrating run from Matt Fanimo ended with a free kick, taken by Warner, which Hugo Rossetti saved on the line.
Hornchurch conceded a careless goal on 20 minutes when Christian Assombalonga, unmarked, headed home from a corner on the right.
Fairweather-Johnson went close shortly afterwards when he turned sharply to take a Warner pass, following good work by Alex Bentley, and his shot narrowly cleared the bar.
A Fanimo run left the visitors in disarray, but the ball was turned out for a corner, whilst a rapid run by Olumide Oluwatimilehin ended in a free kick, which Warner fired past the defence but also wide of the goal.
As Hornchurch continued to press, Oluwatimilehin fed the ball through to Fanimo, and Rossetti made an excellent save to keep the shot out of the goal.
Rossetti saved again, this time from a Fairweather-Johnson header, but Theo was not to be denied, when he ran on to a long clearance from Sam Mott, and crashed a shot hard into the net to restore the lead.
Abbey again drew level, just two minutes later, when Billy Holland, unmarked in front of goal, headed home a well-flighted cross from the right. A minute later a Warner corner was cleared off the line, and a Nathan Livings corner was comfortably cleared, and but Hornchurch regained the lead two minutes from the interval, when Warner raced through from close to the half way line, and although Rossetti saved his shot, Matt Fanimo followed up to place the ball firmly into the net.
Hornchurch could have increased their lead soon after the interval when Fanimo sent a good cross into the middle, but there was no one to take advantage as the ball rolled across the face of the goal, and Abbey came back strongly with a good attempt by Assombalonga, who was causing the home defence a lot of difficulties.
On 57 minutes Macauley Joynes was booked for a foul on Nathan Livings, but Fanimo’s free kick was too high and the ball cleared the bar. Back at the other end Assombalonga made a rapid run through the middle but his hard shot went wide of the target.
On 62 minutes Abbey drew level. Aron Gordon made a good run which won a free kick. The kick was played short to Nathan Koranteng, and his soft shot eluded everyone to end up in the net.
Tobi Joseph came on for Warner, who had received treatment for an injury a few minutes earlier, and a Fanimo cross found Tobi, whose header was well saved by Rossetti.
Abbey went ahead fifteen minutes from time when Jack Daveney gained possession thirty yards out and hit an unstoppable shot hard into the net, and a minute later it could have been level again, when a Joseph shot from the edge of the area skimmed the bar. Two minutes later, with Hornchurch pressing hard, Fanimo again left the left side of the Abbey defence in complete disarray, only for his cross to again go invitingly across the face of the goal.
Ten minutes from time, George Purcell replaced Sean Roberts, and he made an immediate impact, racing towards goal, only to be brought down by Steve Sylvester, who was shown a yellow card. The free kick was a few yards outside the area, to the left of the goal, and Nathan Livings stepped up to neatly place the ball past Rossetti and into the net for the equaliser.
Mott saved from Assombalonga but the pressure was gaining momentum at the other end, and one minute into stoppage time George Purcell ran in from the right and fired a spectacular shot hard into the net from a narrow angle for the winning goal.
Three points but manager Jim McFarlane is likely to be asking how the defence allowed Abbey to score four times.
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