|Sat, 22nd Apr 2017||3:00 PM||Isthmian League Division 1 North||2016 / 17|
In a game both sides had to win to stand any chance of improving their play-off positions it was the visitors who ran out convincing winners with an excellent 4-1 win. Leon McKenzie had opened the scoring for the hosts but Bowers equalised before half-time and then added 3 more in the second period.
HORNCHURCH 1 BOWERS & PITSEA 4
HFC – Mott, Cohen, Bentley, Easterford, Cooper, Styles © (Hussain 88), Thompson (Purcell 68), Seymour, McKenzie, Wall, Nesbitt (Bantick 68)
Subs – Tuohy, Adeniji
BP – Guest, Clark, Nyanja, Stokes ©, Manor (Salmon 85), Sartain, Hine, Leahy, Knight, Warner (Whitnell 85), Coley (Russell 85)
Subs – Madden, Hilton
Officials – Simon Finnigan with Piotr Zachwieja and Simon Cutler
Scorers – McKenzie 18 (H) – Leahy 25 (BP) – Warner 49 (BP – Manor 55 (B) – Warner 83 (BP)
Bookings – Warner 20 (B) – Seymour 49 (H) – Bentley 86 (H) – Hine 90+3 (BP)
Duration 47.00 + 49.00
HORNCHURCH 1 BOWERS & PITSEA 4
Bowers needed to win and hope that Haringey Borough lost, in order to secure a play-off place. In the event, Bowers did what they had to do, but Haringey took the final play-off place with a draw against Norwich Utd.
Hornchurch, with a number of players rested or out with injury, needed to win and hope that Thurrock lost – neither happened, and Hornchurch now have to travel to Thurrock on Wednesday in the semi final of the play-offs.
Bowers kicked towards the windmill end in the first half and had an early opportunity through David Knight, but Sam Mott tipped the shot over the bar.
Hornchurch came back with an Abs Thompson run and cross, which found Ross Wall, but Martyn Guest saved the header.
Hornchurch took the lead when Teddy Nesbitt was fouled midway inside the Bowers half out on the left side of the pitch. Alex Bentley floated the free kick into the middle, where Leon McKenzie beat Guest to score his 37th goal of the season.
Two minutes later Brad Warner fouled Abs Thompson, picking up a yellow card in the process, Abs Seymour took the free kick, and Guest made an excellent save to touch the ball over the bar.
Bowers applied some heavy pressure and Mott did well to turn a long-range shot from Lewis Clark over the bar. Mott then dealt with the corner in fine style, turning the ball over the bar for a follow up corner. But he could do nothing to prevent Callum Leahy, unmarked and in front of goal, from heading home the equaliser for the corner.
Bowers continued to press and Warner headed over from an Ayrton Coley centre, and at the other end Abs Thompson made a long run along the right wing, winning the first of two successive corners.
Guest came to the rescue when Thompson opened up the right flank again and his cross found Nesbitt, only for Guest to once again come to the rescue.
Close to half time Bentley made ground on the left, and McKenzie played the centre back to Nesbitt, with Guest saving well.
Three minutes into the second half a Seymour free kick was turned out for a corner, from which McKenzie’s header was tipped over the bar.
But that proved to be the end of any threat from Hornchurch, as Bowers took control and dominated the remainder of the match.
Mott saved a Warner free kick, but when Seymour conceded a free kick ten yards outside the area, Brad Warner stepped up to fire the ball home through a motionless defence to give Bowers the lead.
Six minutes later a similar Warner free kick was deflected for a corner, and Callum Manor came up to head the ball home as it came into a packed goalmouth.
Sam Bantick and George Purcell came on, in place of Nesbitt and Thompson, but Hornchurch could make little impression on a confident visiting defence, and when David Knight threatened to break through at the other end, only a well-timed tackle by Gary Cohen prevented a possible fourth goal.
McKenzie went close from a Wall opening, but most of the play was at the other end, and Brad Warner made it four one when he finished off a corner, which had deflected off Nathan Cooper.
Taj Hussain replaced Elliot Styles, and in stoppage time Guest saved well from Purcell, but Hornchurch can have few complaints about the result.
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