URCHINS HIT FOUR AT WITHAM
By Tony Middleton
David Knight scores two, Dave Collis gets one, and Sam Mott keeps another clean sheet
WITHAM TOWN 0 HORNCHURCH 4
WT - Down - Kemp - Hayes (Miles 53) - Harrison - Akins - Payne - Francis (Holdstock 64) - Bradford (Emery 68) - Kempt - Koranteng
Subs - Watson - Robinson
HFC - Mott - Chouman - Luke - Styles - Cooper - Goodacre - Thompson (Freeman 82) - Collis - Knight - Purcell (May 81) - Symons (Dove 89)
Subs - McKenzie - Eyong
Scorers - Harrison (og) 8 - Collis 13 - Knight 32 - Knight 76
Bookings - Payne 21 (W) - Koranteng 41 (W) - Thompson 64 (H)
WITHAM TOWN 0 HORNCHURCH 4
After being denied by the weather on Easter Monday, there were no such worries tonight, despite rain for a couple of hours during the afternoon.
In a one-sided match, Sam Mott had another easy game, as most of the play was at the other end of the pitch. At the other end goalkeeper Lewis Down found his goal under constant pressure.
Hornchurch took an early lead when, in the eighth minute, Down raced out of his goal to clear, beating George Purcell to the ball, only for his clearance to cannon off Spencer Harrison and roll into an empty net.
David Knight then fired over the bar when well placed, but it quickly became two nil, when a long throw by Junior Luke found Dave Collis, who headed firmly into the net.
Hornchurch continued to press forward, and when Abs Thompson made a run down the wing and centred, Down made a good save from David Knight’s header.
Hornchurch kept up the pressure, and went close when a Collis free kick found Nathan Cooper, whose header went wide.
Lewis Payne was booked as Witham continued to defend desperately, and, seconds later, Nicky Symons switched play to the other side of the field, where Abs Thompson moved in on goal, and the overworked Down made another good save.
George Purcell, seeking his 100th goal, raced clear two minutes later, only for Down to make yet another excellent save.
Witham could not withstand the constant pressure and the third goal followed on 32 minutes, when David Knight headed firmly home from an Abs Thompson centre.
Nathan Koranteng became the second home player to go into the book shortly before half time.
HALF TIME - WITHAM 0 HORNCHURCH 3
The second half saw no let-up, and within a minute of the restart Down made another excellent save from Knight.
Ryan Miles replaced Tyler Hayes on 53 minutes, but Witham could not stem the flow. Down made several fine saves, mainly from Knight and Purcell, including a double save to keep out the first and third goalbound shots from Purcell, with the middle one blocked on the line by a defender.
Five minutes later, Elliot Styles moved up for a Collis corner, and put a powerful header against the bar.
Down saved well from George Purcell, as his 100th goal continued to prove elusive.
Thomas Holdstock replaced Lewis Francis, and a minute later Abs Thompson became the first Hornchurch player to be booked.
Craig Emery replaced Max Bradford on 68 minutes, and five minutes later Purcell homed in but his shot went wide.
David Knight scored his second goal of the match when he gained possession, ran on and glided the ball past Down.
Jim McFarlane made a series of substitutions in the final ten minutes, bringing on Joey May for George Purcell, Ricky Freeman for Abs Thompson, and Charlie Dove for Nicky Symons as Hornchurch kept up their challenge for the play-offs.
With thanks to footballwebpages and Andy Dickinson’s Twitter feed.