Bostik North: Hornchurch 1 Sudbury 0
PUBLISHED: 16:59 02 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:59 02 December 2017
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Jimmy McFarlane celebrated his record-breaking 460th match in charge of Hornchurch with a slender win at Bridge Avenue.
McFarlane, a goalscoring centre-back during his own lengthy playing career, saw defender Nathan Cooper fire the only goal of the game midway through the second half to secure the points.
And the clean sheet will no doubt have delighted McFarlane as he surpassed Arthur Wenborn’s previous record and saw his side maintain their hold on top spot in the table.
Sean Roberts fired a first-minute shot over the bar, then had another deflected behind, with Kenzer Lee denied from the resulting corner and Leon McKenzie also heading over.
Theo Fairweather-Johnson also fired wide when well placed, as the hosts made a bright start, and Roberts headed past the post from a Brad Warner corner on 11 minutes.
Sudbury captain Joe Whight sent a free-kick straight at Simon Block midway through the first half, before Jay Porter’s superb cross picked out Fairweather-Johnson, whose effort was touched onto the underside of the bar by Paul Walker before being cleared.
The visiting keeper made another good save to thwart McKenzie’s header on 26 minutes and was alert to another effort soon after, following a scramble in the box.
Porter picked out McKenzie with a lovely cross five minutes before the break, but Walker was equal to his powerful header, but Ollie Peters sent a shot on the turn wide at the other end and Reece Dobson rattled the Urchins crossbar on the stroke of half time with a superb left-footed shot.
The second half was only a minute old when Mathias Fanimo poked wide and Hornchurch saw another effort cleared off the line, before Warner’s free-kick just evaded Elliot Styles.
The hosts made the breakthrough on 66 minutes, though, when Warner sent another corner into the box and Cooper pounced to fire home.
Fanimo forced a good save from Walker with 10 minutes left, as Urchins looked to secure the points with a second goal, before making way for Jamie Hursit and McFarlane made a second change three minutes from time, as Fairweather-Johnson made way for Tobi Joseph.
A third and final substitution was made for the four minutes of stoppage time, as veteran midfielder Dave Collis came on for Roberts, and Urchins protected their lead for a McFarlane-pleasing 1-0 win.
Hornchurch are back on home turf on Tuesday, when Maldon visit Bridge Avenue.
Hornchurch: Bloch, Bentley, Porter, Lee, Cooper, Styles, Fanimo (Hursit 81), Roberts (Collis 90), McKenzie, Fairweather-Johnson (Joseph 87), Warner. Unused subs: Chouman, Lambert.