Bostik Premier: Hornchurch 1 Bognor 1
PUBLISHED: 19:31 25 August 2018 | UPDATED: 19:31 25 August 2018
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Hornchurch had to settle for a point as their latest league match with Bognor ended all square at Bridge Avenue.
On a playing surface made slippery after torrential rain as the teams took the field, both sides took time to adapt to the conditions.
Hornchurch were forced to make a change in their line up, with Jordan Clark coming in for Kenzer Lee, who is likely to be out of action for two months, having suffered a broken hand at Enfield the week before.
Bognor, tipped by many to make a speedy return to the National League after their relegation last season, looked a settled and very composed side, as they built up their momentum from midfield.
But they found themselves up against an equally composed home defence, and neither side could make an early threat on goal.
On 15 minutes George Saunders made a break along the right wing, and sent over a low cross that eluded everyone on its passage across the goalmouth, and a minute later Harvey Whyte went close at the other end, with a similar run and cross, with Alex Bentley playing the ball out for a corner.
George Purcell went close for Hornchurch after Sean Marks had flicked the ball on, and a long range shot from Nathan Livings went narrowly wide of the target.
Callum Chafer made a fine save from a Calvin Davies shot, turning the ball around the post, and Nathan Cooper headed away from James Muitt for a corner. But Bognor took the lead when Daniel Smith headed home from close range.
As the half drew to a close, Muitt and Bradley Lethbridge both went close for Bognor, with Purcell and Saunders also being denied at the other end, whilst two corners from Bradley Warner in quick succession were cleared, and Daniel Lincoln dealt with a hard drive from Purcell.
Three minutes into the second half, a Purcell shot was tipped away for a corner, from which Connor Hogan’s shot was saved by Lincoln.
Hornchurch continued to press, and their reward came when Archie Edwards was forced to clear a Warner corner, leading to a second corner.
Warner swung the ball into the middle where Marks forced the ball across the line, despite the close attention of Chad Field.
Play then swung back and forth, with both goalkeepers in frequent action, with Muitt again forcing a fine save from Chafer, and Warner firing a free kick over the bar at the other end.
Chafer then saved from Smith and Lincoln saved from Theo Fairweather-Johnson who had moved on to Leon McKenzie’s header.
In stoppage time Lincoln came to Bognor’s rescue with an excellent saves from Fairweather-Johnson and McKenzie to earn his side a share of the points.
Hornchurch: Chafer, Bentley, Porter, Clark, Cooper, Warner (Coker 90), Saunders, Hogan, Marks (McKenzie 74), Purcell (Fairweather-Johnson 74), Livings. Unused subs: Spence, Hursit.