Hornchurch blog: Good to get promotion push back on track

PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 March 2017

Hornchurch players celebrate Leon McKenzie's opener at Ware (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch players celebrate Leon McKenzie's opener at Ware (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

The latest from the Hornchurch Supporters’ Association (HSA)

We achieved a comfortable two goal win at a near-deserted Ware, where our own away following made up the majority of the sparse crowd. Leon McKenzie led the way, and with a little more steadiness, he could have had four, but eventually had to be content with just one goal.

On five minutes he ran clear, but put his shot wide of the near post. Five minutes later he was again clear, but this time, although his shot beat ex-Urchin Darren Behcet in the home goal, the ball swerved narrowly past the far post.

Leon had an almost identical chance on twenty minutes, and this time he made no mistake, and Leon was again denied, this time by an incredible save by Behcet, twenty minutes from time.

The other goal came from Kenzer Lee, his fourth of the season, with a well-directed header from a Teddy Nesbitt corner. Kenzer is primarily a defender, but often comes up for set pieces, and his presence in a packed goalmouth is proving invaluable.

It was a strange Hornchurch line up, as both Gary Cohen and Nathan Cooper were missing due to injuries received at the Cheshunt match, and Elliot Styles was serving a two-match suspension after picking up his tenth booking of the season.

Manager Jim McFarlane was quick to react, and signed the very experienced John Easterford from Great Wakering. Easterford has played for both Concord Rangers and Canvey Island and he slotted in at the back straight away.

We had another, and very welcome surprise, when Abs Seymour took the field. Abs2, as we call him, to distinguish from Abs1 (Abs Thompson), had joined Billericay in December, after they made him an offer that was too good to refuse. He was ever-present in their line up, but was released last week - perhaps not too much of a surprise as Billericay have signed over sixty players this season, and as fast as new players come in, so others leave.

Overall, it was a good performance at Ware, though most of us thought that five or six goals would be a better reflection on the play. But let’s not forget Sam Mott, who had little to do, but reacted well in stoppage time to save what looked a certain goal, and of course he kept another clean sheet, his twentieth of the season.

We had a bonus when we looked at the other results, as Maldon & Tiptree, Bowers & Pitsea and Thurrock all lost, although Brightlingsea won, and are now nine points clear of Hornchurch. But we are now only one point behind Maldon in second position, and we are confident that we can finish at least in second position, although we have to reply on Brightlingsea dropping points if we want to finish top of the table.

Our next match is at home to Wroxham on Saturday. We went to Wroxham in December and won 3-2, with two goals from Leon and one from Ross Wall. Wroxham were at the bottom of the table at the time, but had been strengthened by the signing of two players on loan from Premier Division Sudbury. With twenty minutes to play, we seemed to be cruising to an easy three points. But we then lost Junior Luke to a second yellow card, Wroxham quickly pulled a goal back, and they then dominated but were unable to force an equaliser.

Little has changed from a Wroxham perspective in the intervening three months, and they are still firmly at the foot of the table and facing relegation back to the Eastern Counties League.

So are we expecting for an easy win? No, we are not. Our record against teams at the wrong end of the table is not good, and we cannot take things for granted. We want to win, and but we cannot expect an easy ride on Saturday.

Our home support is growing, our optimism is sky high, and three more points are on everyone’s agenda.

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