DISAPPOINTMENT AT SOHAM
By Tony Middleton
But captain Elliot Styles makes his 450th appearance
SOHAM TOWN RANGERS 1 HORNCHURCH 0
ST - George Lawton - Swinton - Paterson (Townshend 49) - Will Lawton - Gent © - Watson - Russell - Chadwick - Darling (Williams 58) - Sharman - Relizani
Subs - Chambers-Shaw - Hall - Theobald
HFC – Mott – Thompson (Luke 63) – Styles © - May – Cooper – Goodacre – Eyong – Collis – St Aimie (McKenzie 82) – Purcell – Bentley (Chouman 78)
Subs - Dove - Knight
Officials - Paul Quick with Abigail Marriott and William Case
Scorer - Sharman 77
Bookings - Eyong 57 (H) - Will Lawton 80 (ST) - Swinton 90+2 (ST)
Weather - 5 degrees, cloudy
Duration 47.00 + 49.00
SOHAM TOWN RANGERS 1 HORNCHURCH 0
This was not a good performance, and although the pitch was hard and very bumpy, Hornchurch could not adjust, and, after having the better of the first half, the match looked like ending goalless until a partially cleared corner was played back into the area for Ryan Sharman to score the only goal of the game.
The first twenty minutes were played mainly in midfield and neither team created any scoring chances. Two long throws from Callum Russell were cleared with ease, and little else happened until George Lawton punched away a Joey May corner, and Dave Collis was first onto the loose ball, and his shot was deflected away for another corner, which was also punched clear.
And when an Abs Thompson cross went out for a third corner, this one met the same fate as the previous two.
A Collis shot was again deflected for a corner and this time May sent the ball over to the far post where Tambeson Eyong headed over.
A May free kick was cleared by Jordan Gent, and the best chance of the half came when George Purcell was fouled ten yards outside the area. Purcell took the free kick himself and although the ball beat the wall, Lawton in goal made an excellent save.
If Soham had rarely got close to goal in the first half it was a different story in the second period, starting in the first minute when the ball went across the Hornchurch goal without anyone being able to get a touch.
Soham had the better of the territorial play, but apart from two corners, both fielded by Mott, they did not create any scoring chances.
At the other end Eyong was booked on the very belated advice from a linesman, after the referee had quite correctly allowed play to continue, and a Soham player was carded two minutes later for a minor offence.
Hornchurch were awarded another free kick in a dangerous position, again for a foul on Purcell, and this time Purcell’s shot cannoned back off the wall of defenders.
Junior Luke replaced Alex Bentley and it was a long throw form Luke that caused some consternation in the home defence, before the ball was turned away for a corner.
Soham began to exert some pressure on the Hornchurch defence, and Will Lawton fired wide from a corner.
Soham scored what proved to be the only goal of the match when another corner was cleared but only into midfield, and the ball was played back into the area to Ryan Sharman who made no mistake with a well-placed shot.
Jed Chouman and Leon McKenzie were introduced as Hornchurch pressed forward, but the home defence were rarely put under any pressure, and they held out comfortably to put a serious dent in Hornchurch’s play-off challenge.
A disappointing result, but the match marked a landmark for captain Elliot Styles, who was making this 450th appearance in the Hornchurch first team.