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George Sessions at Bridge Avenue
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Ryman Premier: Hornchurch 1 Hendon 2
Hornchurch frustratingly lost at home to Hendon in the Ryman Premier on Saturday in a game full of controversy as questionable decisions were made all afternoon by referee Carl Pearse.
Urchins went ahead thanks to a fortunate spot kick, converted by George Purcell, before conceding two second half goals.
But it was the referee’s flabbergasting decision not to give them a second, after an obvious foul by Hendon’s Jack Bennett, which became the main talking point of the match.
The game started poorly as neither side was able to get hold of the ball, although Urchins’ Joey May was trying to get his side playing.
Hornchurch nearly went behind after 21 minutes but Inigo Echepare made amends, after slipping and kicking straight to Adam Wallace, by saving a close range effort from Leon Smith following Wallace’s cut back.
Four minutes after Echepare’s stop, Urchins were given the opportunity to go ahead as the first of several controversial decisions was made.
Michael Spencer shimmied inside and Purcell ran on to his pass but Hendon’s Dave Diedhiou came across and appeared to tackle the home forward fairly, but despite this a penalty for Hornchurch was awarded.
After some complaints from the Hendon players and management, Purcell stepped up and calmly struck home the spot kick for the opener.
The visitors staff then bizarrely tried to arrange a quick meeting on the side of the pitch instantly after the goal but were hastily stopped by the man in the middle.
Tambeson Eyong nearly added a second after showing great strength, but his cross-come-shot was cleared, before smart work by Rickie Hayles snuffed out the threat of Smith and the hosts went into the break ahead.
Hornchurch, though, made the worst possible start to the second half as Hendon equalised with just two minutes played.
Eyong was dispossessed and the ball broke loose to Tony Taggart and he drilled through the legs of Echepare to level it up.
Now in the ascendency, the away side were awarded a penalty of their own when Elliot Styles pulled the dangerous Smith down inside the box
Smith slotted the resulting spot kick past Echepare to put Urchins behind with 59 minutes on the clock.
Although Hornchurch didn’t look hugely threatening after Hendon’s second, they should have been given the opportunity to level from the spot when Spencer was clattered inside the box with 73 minutes gone.
However, to the shock of everyone inside the stadium, Jack Bennett’s rash tackle was not punished and instead somehow bewilderingly a free-kick was given against Spencer.
It was an astonishing decision but Hornchurch failed to use it as inspiration for a comeback as Hendon’s solid defence continually frustrated them and consigned them to a disappointing defeat.
Hornchurch: Echepare, Coyne (Bourne 78), Starkey, Styles, Hayles, Curley, Eyong (Tuohy 63), May, Payne, Purcell, Spencer.