Halfway house for Hornchurch
PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 December 2016
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Our match against Ware last Saturday marked the halfway point in the league season – 23 matches played out of 46.
And we found ourselves in 10th place in the table, 10 points behind the leaders and four points adrift of the play-off places.
We also found ourselves on a run of 10 matches unbeaten, but six of those had ended in draws, and the 12 points we dropped in the drawn games is the difference between top of the table and 10th place.
Without Elliot Styles and Paul Goodacre, and with James Morrish still not ready to take his place in the line-up, we at last discovered where the goal is, scoring four without reply against Ware.
But who scored the first goal? Was it Abs Thompson, whose shot cannoned off the underside of the bar and dropped on or over the line, or was it Leon McKenzie, who followed up to make sure it went into the net?
After frame-by-frame scrutiny of the video, which can be found on our website, we think it was McKenzie’s goal.
This puts Leon on 16 goals for this season and with Ross Wall settling in nicely on his return to the Bridge and George Purcell at last beginning to get over a series of injuries, we are hopeful we can move up the table.
Ross Wall made his 100th appearance for the Urchins on Saturday, and capped it with the fourth goal of the match, bringing his own total to four goals in his seven appearances since his return to the club.
We also have Tobi Joseph back in training and we are eagerly looking forward to him returning to full fitness after breaking his leg over 12 months ago.
We started the second half of our season with a home match against Witham Town, but the televised Arsenal match badly affected the attendance.
For those who did turn out to watch a real match, rather than something on a TV screen, Hornchurch started off in commanding fashion, and after missing two chances in the first few minutes, they took the lead through Wall.
For 30 minutes Witham had to defend in depth and then it all changed and we found ourselves hanging on to a single-goal lead.
Witham deservedly drew level, and although we regained our composure for the final 20 minutes of the match, the result was yet another draw.
That leaves us further adrift of the leaders, Maldon & Tiptree, who kept up their 100 per cent home record with a narrow win over Waltham Abbey. Maldon have now opened up a seven-point lead over the chasing pack, with Thurrock, Brightlingsea Regent and Aveley all on 43 points.
We are now unbeaten in 11 matches, on 38 points, and e hope to extend it further with our longest away trip of the season, 125 miles each way to Wroxham, on the Norfolk Broads.
It’s a nice place to go in summer, but not in the depth of winter. Wroxham are currently at the foot of the table, so they will also be eager to take the three points at stake.
Last season we won 4-0 at Wroxham, with three goals from Purcell and one from David Knight. We also won the return match 3-0, with Purcell getting two of the goals and Tambeson Eyong scoring the other.
Our next home match is against Aveley and has been brought forward to Friday December 23, with an 8pm kick-off.