Bostik North: Waltham Abbey 2 Hornchurch 2
PUBLISHED: 17:02 28 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:59 29 April 2018
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Theo Fairweather-Johnson’s 85th-minute goal allowed champions Hornchurch to avoid defeat on the final day of the Bostik North season.
Urchins had taken the lead on the stroke of half time through Chris Assombalonga, only to see Darelle Russell score twice in nine minutes early in the second half.
But substitute Fairweather-Johnson claimed a late equaliser for the visitors, who finished top of the pile with 103 points.
Connor Hogan was denied by the feet of Abbey keeper Anthony Page on five minutes, while George Purcell fired straight at the home custodian from Olu Oluwatimilehin’s pass on the quarter-hour mark.
And Brad Warner scuffed a good chance on 19 minutes, before Alex Bentley had to clear off his own line at the other end to deny the hosts the first goal.
Purcell broke through just before the half-hour mark, but saw Page get his foot to the ball and turn his low shot behind for a corner.
And Page then produced a superb fingertip save to keep out Hogan’s curling effort, after a poor clearance straight to the Hornchurch midfielder.
Good work by Assombalonga, against his old club, set up a chance for Purcell four minutes before half time but his shot flew across the face of goal and beyond the far post.
But the deadlock was broken just before the interval as Assombalonga produced a superb header to convert a cross from Jed Chouman.
Hornchurch were caught cold at the start of the second half, though, as Abbey levelled with a low shot into the corner of the net from Russell.
Sam Mott tipped over a free-kick on 51 minutes, but was beaten for a second time soon after as Russell netted his second.
Purcell had a shot saved for Urchins, before Abbey scrambled the ball clear, but the visitors had Kenzer Lee to thank for a goalline clearance which denied a third goal.
Hornchurch made a triple change on 63 minutes, with Nathan Livings, Leon McKenzie and Fairweather-Johnson replacing Hogan, Assombalonga and Oluwatimilehin.
And Fairweather-Johnson had an effort tipped over by Page, before Warner’s attempt from the resulting corner was blocked by the Abbey defence.
Urchins were back on level terms five minutes from time when Fairweather-Johnson sidefooted home from McKenzie’s lay-off at a free-kick and that was how it ended.
Hornchurch: Mott, Chouman, Bentley, Lee, Cooper, Roberts, Oluwatimilehin (Fairweather-Johnson 63), Hogan (Livings 63), Assombalonga (McKenzie 63), Purcell, Warner. Unused subs: Hursit, Styles.