Bostik North: Maldon 1 Hornchurch 2
PUBLISHED: 22:46 12 September 2017 | UPDATED: 22:46 12 September 2017
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Hornchurch were made to work hard for their eighth successive victory of the season at a ground where last season they put on their worst display of the season. They made no mistake this time, although they had to hang on towards the end as the home side staged a strong come-back in an effort to grab an equaliser.
With just three minutes gone, Hornchurch forced two corners in succession, from the second of which George Purcell tried an overhead kick, but keeper Andy Walker was alert and saved comfortably.
Hornchurch had a scare on ten minutes when Maldon broke upfield and Sam Mott parried a good attempt from Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, although an offside flag was already raised.
The visitors took the lead on 12 minutes when Leon McKenzie pounced on a defensive error and took full advantage with a fine shot that beat Walker.
Two minutes later, Purcell, out on the left, sent over a pinpoint cross, but just a fraction too far for McKenzie to reach.
Purcell was again in action a minute later with a hard drive that flashed the wrong wide of the post.
As Hornchurch continued to press, a defensive header rebounded to McKenzie, but Walker saved well before McKenzie regained possession and slipped he ball to Purcell, but his first time shot cleared the bar.
Maldon drew level on 29 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Nathan Cooper pulled back a home forward. Mott saved the kick but the ball rebounded to Ogedi-Uzokwe who followed up to score.
Five minutes later Emmanuel Udoji became the first player to go into the book, with a yellow card for a foul on Jed Chouman.
Hornchurch regained the lead five minutes before the interval, when Maldon conceded a free kick and Brad Warner’s hard shot beat the defensive wall and went into the net.
Three minutes later Warner had another chance with a free kick from a similar position but Walker saved well.
Manager Jim McFarlane made one change at half time, bringing on Sean Roberts for Jed Chouman.
After a quiet opening 15 minutes to the second half, Maldon came back strongly and Mott was called upon to make an excellent save when the home side broke quickly upfield on 63 minutes.
A minute later Maldon were awarded a free kick just outside the area and Mott again saved to keep Hornchurch ahead.
On 72 minutes captain Elliot Styles was replaced by Jamie Hursit and Maldon threw players forward seeking an equaliser and applied strong and sustained pressure, with a shot cannoning back off a post, and another going narrowly wide on 79 minutes.
On 82 minutes Hornchurch made their final change of the match, with new recruit Mathias Fanimo coming on for Alex Bentley.
A minute from full time Warner became the first Hornchurch player to go into the referee’s notebook, as Urchins continued to defend.
Maldon continued to attack and in the final minute of full time another hard shot came back off the post before Hornchurch went straight back down the other end, where Purcell broke away, only for his shot to go wide of the target.
Hornchurch: Mott, Bentley (Fanimo 82), Porter, Lee, Cooper, Chouman (Roberts 46), Fairweather-Johnson, Styles (Hursit 72), McKenzie, Purcell, Warner
Unused subs: Tuohy, Hussain.