Hornchurch held as Seymour sees red
PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 December 2016
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Dereham Town 0 Hornchurch 0
Hornchurch had to settle for just a point against Ryman North rivals Dereham and were left fuming after a late red card to Abs Seymour.
The visitors had plenty of opportunities to put the game beyond reach in a first half in which the home side were forced to defend for lengthy periods.
But the second half was dominated by a series of decisions which went against the visitors and which seemed to effect the morale of the team, as player after player went into the referee’s book.
It culminated in a hotly disputed red card for Seymour, which left manager Jim McFarlane furious, and the club are hoping video evidence will give excellent grounds for a successful appeal.
JJ Da Cruz came into the starting line-up in place of the injured Elliot Styles, with the captaincy passing to Alex Bentley.
And Hornchurch came forward from the start with a Seymour run ending in a corner which he floated over and saw fall to Jed Chouman, who tested keeper William Viner.
Chouman then crossed into the box and Leon McKenzie headed the ball back to George Purcell, but his shot was wide of the target.
Bentley sent a good cross over to Chouman, and again Viner came to the rescue with a fine save, before Purcell fired a first-time volley high over the bar on 15 minutes as the pressure mounted.
Purcell slotted a good pass through to Ross Wall, whose shot was a fraction too high, before Dereham had their first opportunity on the half-hour mark when Daniel Beaumont’s first-time shot went too high and over the bar.
A minute later William Sainsbury-Logan sent a shot wide of goal when given a brief shooting chance, but at the other end a Seymour corner found McKenzie and his shot was cleared off the line.
Hornchurch had a scare before half time when a speculative shot from 30-yards dipped alarmingly and hit the crossbar, with Nathan Cooper quick to react and conceding a corner.
Beaumont became the first player booked early in the second half, when he appeared to dispute a decision, and Bentley became the first Hornchurch player to be shown a yellow card.
A good Bentley centre found McKenzie whose header beat Viner but drifted wide of the post and a similar Bentley cross found Wall, who put the ball into the side netting.
Dereham now began to press, with Vadim Constandachi prominent in many of their moves and Joe Gatting put in a good shot from outside the area, which Sam Mott tipped over for a corner.
Abs Thompson came on for McKenzie, who had earlier been booked, and his presence gave the home side more than a few problems on the right flank.
But Dereham, on a pitch that became increasingly slippery as the temperature dropped, looked dangerous and a diving Mott turned a free kick around the post.
Hornchurch were clearly upset by a series of decisions which went against them and Kenzer Lee and Chouman were booked in quick succession.
In between the stoppages, Wall made good ground and crossed to Junior Luke, who touched back to Purcell, but his shot was again wide of the mark.
Then came a moment of total farce, when Seymour was shown a straight red after colliding with a home player, to the anger of McFarlane and the rest of the Hornchurch management team.
McFarlane immediately brought on Ben Osman, signed from Chipstead during the week, in place of Purcell, and he was quickly involved with two excellent tackles as Dereham piled forward.
Mott made two excellent saves inside a minute as the match moved into stoppage time, then in the final minute Luke powered down the wing and was able to slip the ball to Wall, whose shot brought the save of the match from Viner.
Hornchurch: Mott, Bentley, Luke, Da Cruz, Cooper, Chouman, Purcell (Osman 86), McKenzie (Thompson 73), Lee, Wall, Seymour. Unused subs: Cohen, Coley, Hursit.