Hornchurch hail matchwinner Wall
PUBLISHED: 10:00 07 December 2016 | UPDATED: 10:16 07 December 2016
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Hornchurch 1 Sudbury 0
Ross Wall’s 86th-minute goal saw Hornchurch upset Premier Division outfit Sudbury in the Ryman League Cup at Bridge Avenue last night.
Ryman North Urchins had beaten Haringey Borough and Enfield Town by 4-1 margins in the previous two rounds, but one goal proved enough this time to send them through to the quarter-final stages.
On a very mild night, there was never any danger of the pitch being frozen, but there were some concerns when the mist began to creep in an hour before the start.
It quickly lifted, but with players injured or cup-tied, it was an unusual Hornchurch team that took to the field for a fixture that attracted only a minimum of interest on the terraces, with a crowd of just 76 in attendance.
The hosts kicked towards the windmill end of the ground in the first half and twice in the opening five minutes Abs Thompson opened up the right side, with his first cross skimming the far post and his second deflecting off a defender for a corner.
On 10 minutes Gary Cohen picked out Wall for his first sight of Sudbury’s goal, but Callum Robinson made a good save.
Urchins continued to have the better of the territorial play and Cohen almost broke through on the left, but was tackled before he could shoot.
Wall went close with a first-time volley, and Sudbury, who until then had only managed one attack and seen a corner come to nothing, had a scoring opportunity from a Luke Callender free-kick, but Sam Mott was ideally positioned to make the save.
Cohen fired wide from a Wall pass, whilst another Thompson run ended with a good interception by Aidan Austin at the expense of a corner as the first half ended goalless.
Wall went close a minute into the second half, but the visitors began to force the pace, and more of the attacking play as they started to control the midfield.
Mott saved well from Callender, and saw another long-range shot curl against a post, while at the other end Nathan Cooper headed wide from a Ben Osman corner, Ayrton Coley hit a shot wide, and a well-flighted Osman free-kick drifted past the near post.
Hornchurch’s Kenzer Lee went close with a header and then took on a defensive role to deny Sudbury an opening, as play swung from end to end.
Taj Hussain, who has now signed for Southend Manor on a dual-registration basis, came on for Osman and fellow substitute Leon McKenzie, who had replaced Coley, sent a long ball out to Thompson on the right wing.
Thompson made one of his characteristic runs down the wing, before crossing into the middle, where McKenzie directed his header too close to goalkeeper Robinson.
There was a lengthy stoppage following an incident on the River Side of the ground, which ended with Thompson being booked, and play had scarcely restarted when Sudbury’s Dylan Williams was shown a yellow card for an off-the-ball incident involving Alex Bentley.
Jamie Hursit replaced Thompson and Jed Chouman sent a free-kick wide as Hornchurch stepped up the pace.
Cooper was also shown a yellow card, before Hornchurch netted the only goal of the night a minute later when Wall moved on to a long pass from the right and weaved his way past a defender before gliding the ball into the net.
It proved to be the final scoring chance of the tie as Sudbury were unable to set up any attacking moves, and in the final minute the referee dealt with another altercation, before showing a yellow card to Erkan Okay.
Surprisingly there was only two minutes of stoppage time, but Sudbury could do little to prevent Hornchurch locking the play up in the left hand corner.
Urchins will return to their promotion push on Saturday when they host Ware.
Hornchurch: Mott, Bentley, Da Cruz, Lee, Cooper, Chouman, Thompson (Hursit 81), Osman (Hussain 78), Coley (McKenzie 59), Wall, Cohen.