McKenzie makes his mark as Hornchurch beat Ilford
PUBLISHED: 12:38 04 August 2016 | UPDATED: 12:39 04 August 2016
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Ilford 0 Hornchurch 2
Leon McKenzie’s first-half brace saw Hornchurch claim victory over Ilford in their latest pre-season friendly last night.
Allan Fenn’s Foxes had started the new Essex Senior League campaign in style at the weekend with a thumping 5-1 win over their tenants Barkingside, while Urchins were losing a friendly 1-0 at Leatherhead.
And the home side started confidently on a tricky Cricklefield Stadium pitch, with young Hornchurch keeper Callum Chafer soon called into action to make two excellent saves.
Ricky Freeman forced a save at the other end with a long-range volley, while Dave Collis had a free-kick pushed behind for a corner.
But Urchins saw Ozzie Kone limp off injured, before McKenzie put them ahead on 24 minutes when Jed Chouman’s ball into the goalmouth was touched back by Freeman for him to finish from close range.
George Woodward eventually came on for Kone soon after, to restore Hornchurch to a full side, and they forced four corners in quick succession during a spell of heavy pressure.
But Ilford defended well to repel the deliveries by Collis and Woodward and the visitors had to wait until stoppage time to double their lead when McKenzie fired home from a narrow angle.
Urchins were forced onto the back foot after the restart, with captain Elliot Styles making two fine tackles to deny Ilford’s strikers a reply.
Chafer had little to do in goal, though, and Urchins went close to a third when Ayrton Coley raced up the right wing and crossed for Nic Brown, who fired his first-time shot over the crossbar.
Sam Mott replaced Chafer just past the hour mark, after the young keeper had made an excellent diving save to preserve his clean sheet, and Urchins boss Jimmy McFarlane also sent on fresh legs in the shape of Nathan Cooper, Kenzer Lee, David Knight and a trialist.
Ilford also made several substitutions, but there was no change to the scoreline as Hornchurch took the spoils ahead of their clash with Billericay at Aveley on Friday.
Hornchurch: Chafer (Mott 63), Chouman, Da Cruz, Styles, Bentley (Cooper 70), Coley, Brown, Collis (Lee 70), Kone (Woodward 27), Freeman (Germain 67), McKenzie (Knight 78).