Unbeaten run ends at Ship Lane
By Tony Middleton
Hornchurch lose to a last minute goal.
THURROCK 2 HORNCHURCH 1
TFC – madden – Morgan – Duncan – Toner – Sutton – Clark – Christou – Spence © – Goode (Francis 88) – Wall – Cowley
Subs – Wheatley – Orth – Gleed – Winn
HFC – Mott – Cooper – Bentley (Coyne 46) – May – Styles © - Goodacre – Chouman – Dove (Joseph 46) – Knight (McKenzie 73) – Purcell – Luke
Subs – Poku – Thompson
Officials – Stephen Finch with Anthony Coulter and Wayne Middlemas
Scorers – Christou 27 (T) – McKenzie 78 (H) – Spence 90 (T)
Bookings – Goodacre 22 (H) – Bentley 25 (H) – Styles 71 (H) – Christou 81 (T)
Duration 45.45 + 53.00
THURROCK 2 HORNCHURCH 1
Thurrock enjoyed their highest league attendance of the season, almost double that of their average for the season. They also enjoyed taking three points.
In a match which Hornchurch dominated for long periods, the home side took the lead midway through the first half through Joe Christou and then won the match in the final minute of normal time when Lewwis Spence fired the ball home from the edge of the area.
Thurrock had the first scoring opportunity of the match, when Sam Mott saved from Chris Goode, and at the other end Rhys Madden was in action, turning a hard drive by George Purcell around the post for a corner.
Defence was largely on top and there were few scoring chances, until Joe Christou ran through and drove the ball past Mott for the opening goal.
Thurrock could have increased their lead when Kamarl Duncan moved in from the left, and his centre into the goalmouth took a bad bounce and eluded everyone.
Hornchurch began to take command, and almost levelled when Joey May’s corner was cleared only as far as David Knight, whose shot hit the post and bounced back, with no Hornchurch player able to get a touch.
Changes were made at half time – Billy Coyne replaced Alex Bentley and Tobi Joseph replaced Charlie Dove – and Hornchurch immediately laid siege to the home goal.
Elliot Styles went close with a header from a Joseph cross, and Madden was somewhat fortunate to get a hand to a difficult ball in from the right by Junior Luke, but it was just enough to deflect the ball over the bar.
As the momentum increased, a shot from George Purcell cannoned back off a defender, whilst another volley hit a defender on the line. Joseph and Knight linked up to set up Purcell, but again the shot came back off a defender.
Leon McKenzie came on for Knight, and the siege increased in tempo, and Hornchurch were rewarded when a Joseph inspired move ended with Leon McKenzie netting his first goal since returning from injury.
And Leon almost had a second two minutes later, when he dispossessed a defender and ran through, only to screw his shot wide of the post.
Thurrock broke out of defence and looked dangerous, but their only scoring chance came in the final minute before stoppage time, when Lewwis Spence beat two defenders to the ball to place his shot inside the far post past a diving Sam Mott.
In the eight minutes added on for stoppages, Thurrock packed their defence and held out, to gain a somewhat fortuitous three points.