Hornchurch held to another draw

JJ Da Cruz of Hornchurch (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

JJ Da Cruz of Hornchurch (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo) - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

Phoenix Sports 1 Hornchurch 1

Hornchurch had to settle for a point against high-flying Phoenix Sports after a third successive draw in Ryman North.

Having fought back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw with Brentwood at Bridge Avenue, then let a lead slip against Brightlingsea Regent as their clash also ended 2-2, Urchins were denied again.

Jimmy McFarlane’s men had the first chance of the afternoon, as Abs Thompson sidefooted a shot wide on 11 minutes, while the home side threatened from a couple of long throw-ins.

Having hit a hat-trick in their midweek league cup win over Haringey Borough, Leon McKenzie headed over Harry Agombar’s corner on 18 minutes, but Urchins took the lead three minutes later when Nathan Cooper headed on for McKenzie and he nodded the ball for JJ Da Cruz to score.

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Their joy was shortlived, though, as the home side were awarded a penalty just three minutes later after a foul by Thompson, with Russell Bedford tucking the spot-kick past Sam Mott.

Hornchurch produced a neat passing move on 34 minutes, which ended with McKenzie finding space but firing his shot straight at Phoenix keeper Steve Phillips.

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And they went close to regaining the lead two minutes before the interval when Agombar’s cross found the head of Da Cruz, whose effort was well saved.

Urchins had another great chance to move ahead for a second time just before the hour, but McKenzie’s effort was blocked by the home defence before the ball was scrambled clear.

Da Cruz fired a long-range effort wide on 63 minutes and Kenzer Lee forced a great save from Bedford with a header six minutes later.

The visitors continued to pose questions, with Thompson producing some great work and a cross to McKenzie, who headed a good chance wide of the target.

And they had one last opportunity in stoppage time when awarded a free-kick in a central position, 20 yards from goal. But the ball was sent high over the crossbar as it ended all square.

Hornchurch: Mott, Bentley, Da Cruz, Goodacre, Cooper, Morrish, Thompson (Hursit 87), Lee, McKenzie, Agombar (Collis 80), Coley. Subs: Kone, Chouman, Styles.

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