The AFC Hornchurch blog
PUBLISHED: 18:00 01 November 2018
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After five defeats in succession, including three in league matches, our visitors in the FA Trophy, Ramsgate, although from a lower division, must have fancied their chances.
But it all started to go wrong, when their leading scorer, Rory Smith, picked up an injury in the warm-up, which forced him to withdraw, and which in turn meant a reshuffle in their tactics and their line-up.
Before they could settle down, and with just 21 seconds on the clock, a Ramsgate clearance hit his own player and the ball bounced in front of Nana Boakye-Yiadom, who finished off neatly to open the scoring and to record his first ever goal since joining us from Concord Rangers.
Three minutes later, Nana did it again, this time running on to a good George Purcell pass to slot the ball home.
Nana twice more went close but then, to Ramsgate’s relief, he also picked up an injury and had to be substituted.
Jordan Clark got into the act, with a powerful header from Purcell’s corner, and this was Jordan’s first ever goal for Hornchurch, but, we also lost him a few minutes from time with an injury.
Sean Marks scored twice in the first half to give us a five goal cushion, and he too had to go off, and Ramsgate played much better in the second half, with our goalkeeper Callum Chafer making three good saves, before George Purcell ran on to a Leon McKenzie pass to make it six nil.
We had high hopes to take all three points on offer against Merstham on Tuesday, but it was our goalkeeper Callum Chafer who had to make a series of saves to keep us on level terms.
With time running out, we thought we had just done enough when George Purcell finished off a good run by Jay Porter to put us into the lead, but with just two minutes left to play, Leon Smith turned a difficult cross into his own net to give our visitors a share of the points - and on the balance of play, we could have no complaints.
So it is now seven drawn games in league matches, and our next game is at Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday, It is not going to be easy, as they have the league’s leading scorer, Jamie Cureton, in their line-up, and we are still without Nathan Cooper in defence, with doubts about a couple of other players who have picked up minor knocks in the last two games.
We have an Essex Senior Cup match next Tuesday, when we are at home to Benfleet, a team we have never played previously. Last season they were in the Essex Olympian League, where they finished in fourth position in Division 2, and then moved up into the newly formed Eastern Senior League South, where they currently occupy a mid-table position.
But this is not the first time that Benfleet have played at Bridge Avenue, as, on the 29th January 2013, Benfleet played Kelvedon Hatch in an Essex Olympian League cup match. The result was 3-2 in favour of Benfleet.
Will our manager Jim McFarlane experiment with the line up, or will he field his strongest eleven? We will find out on Tuesday.
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