Smith nets but Hornchurch have to settle for point

Blue Square Bet South: AFC Hornchurch 1 Boreham Wood 1

Urchins started life at Bridge Avenue in the Blue Square Bet South with a creditable draw against Boreham Wood.

Hornchurch had the better of the early exchanges in front of a disappointing 270 crowd and Wood’s James Russell was the first keeper to be called into service as he stretched to take a Joe Anderson free-kick.

Martin Tuohy almost scored his second goal of the season when he got on the end of a deep cross in from Alex Bentley but the effort was hacked off the line.

The visitors’ first real shot in anger fell to former Dagenham & Redbridge midfielder Graeme Montgomery but Joe Woolley was equal to the effort in the Urchins goal.

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As the game progressed Ian Allinson’s side looked to slowly get into the game, off the back of an opening day 3-0 win over Eastleigh, and Inih Effiong acrobatically shot over when delightfully put through by Omer Riza.

Lewis Smith went close to breaking the deadlock with 33 minutes on the clock but his 25 yard free-kick was expertly tipped wide by Russell.

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And the former Canvey Island keeper should have done better three minutes later when Jimmy McFarlane’s side took the lead.

A great ball through to Smith put him clear down the left hand side and he turned in on his right foot and despite fluffing his lines, it managed to creep past Russell.

But Boreham Wood were a changed side after the break and whatever was said by Allinson in the dressing room seemed to work.

Twice Effiong was denied expertly by Woolley and imposing centre half Charlie O’Loughlin missed a glorious headed chance when unmarked in the box.

But he wasn’t to be denied a second time as he arrived at the back post and got on the end of a pin point free-kick and headed past the Urchins keeper.

And the visitors continued in the ascendancy as Riza forced another fine save from Woolley, though Curley did miss a great chance for Urchins to retake the lead when he ghosted in unmarked at the back post but a poor chest down saw him fire his shot wide.

And try as both sides may in the final few moments, both were unable to break down the others defence and had to settle for a draw in the end.

After the match boss Jimmy McFarlane was slightly disappointed not to take all three points.

“I had them (Boreham Wood) as one of the favourites at the start of the season but although I am relieved to get a point, I thought it was two points dropped,” he said.

AFC Hornchurch: Woolley, Bentley, Anderson, Glover, Goodacre, Noel, Curley, McKenzie (Hunt 80), Tuohy (Styles 88), Smith, Cutler.

Substitutes not used: Spencer, Eyong, Love.

Attendance: 270

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