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Nesbitt nets Hornchurch derby win over Romford

PUBLISHED: 17:21 04 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:22 04 February 2017

Hornchurch players celebrate Teddy Nesbitt's goal (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch players celebrate Teddy Nesbitt's goal (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Hornchurch 1 Romford 0

Teddy Nesbitt’s second-half goal secured a first Ryman North derby win in four attempts for Hornchurch over borough rivals Romford at Bridge Avenue.

Boro had taken seven points from a possible nine in three previous meetings with Urchins, but Jimmy McFarlane’s men maintained their promotion push with a hard-fought success.

The visitors gave as good as they got in a typical derby battle, hitting the woodwork twice in the first half, but boss Paul Martin was left particularly frustrated with referee Andy Loe, after seeing a late penalty shout for handball turned down.

Barely two minutes had been played when Charlie Grimme-Yexley cut in from the right and saw a scuffed shot deflected goalwards by Nick Reynolds and held between his legs by Sam Mott.

And Mott had to race out of his box to head clear from Chris Taylor as he looked to latch on to a long ball, with the pair colliding heavily and the Boro striker earning a yellow card for a high boot.

Ross Wall screwed a right-footed shot well wide from Leon McKenzie’s lay-off with seven minutes gone, as Hornchurch’s 27-goal striker appeared to be struggling with an injury.

And the hosts were then denied by a good save from Callum Chafer, after recent recruit Usman Adeniji raced on to Mott’s long kick and let fly from just inside the box on 10 minutes.

Jed Chouman scooped a left-footed effort over from Wall’s pass moments later, but then Reynolds saw a shot on the turn hit the foot of the post, after Taylor had done well to help the ball on to his strike partner and Mott had looked on somewhat casually.

A backpedalling Mott tipped Ryan Boswell’s speculative effort over the crossbar on 16 minutes, then saw Kai Bichard’s left-footed volley from the resulting corner smack against the far post, before blocking a follow-up attempt.

Chouman’s excellent control and inviting ball into the box almost found Wall, but Boswell intervened at the expense of a corner, from which Elliot Styles headed wide from Nesbitt’s delivery.

Tempers began to fray later in the half, after Wall twice caught Ryan Mallett in aerial challenges, but after speaking to the Hornchurch striker following the first incident, Loe saw no need to take any further action despite Romford’s protests.

Chouman was booked for a late tackle on Ayo Olukoga in first-half stoppage time, though, and Bichard had his name taken for obstructing Mott’s attempted clearance, after he had saved James Ishmail’s header from the resulting free-kick.

Urchins should have opened the scoring four minutes into the second half when Adeniji and Nesbitt worked a short corner on the right and delivered the ball into the box, but Wall was left with his head in his hands as he scuffed his volley wide from close range.

And McKenzie was shown a yellow card soon after for a push on Mallett by the touchline, before Nathan Cooper caught Ishmail late and was also booked.

The Boro centre-back needed lengthy treatment on his ankle and Boro moved Boswell inside to partner Mallett, while Grimme-Yexley dropped to right-back.

And Mallett clumsily brought down McKenzie – whose left hamstring was now strapped – just outside the box as the pair chased a long ball to collect a yellow card, before Nesbitt’s inswinging free-kick bounced off Bichard and into the hands of Chafer.

Bentley’s foul on Akpele led to another yellow card being brandished on the hour, but Urchins got their noses in front moments later when Tobi Coker played the ball in from the right and Nesbitt, on his third appearance for the club, stole in to slot inside the far post.

Bichard sent a left-footed drive flashing over the crossbar as Boro looked to respond with a quarter of the game to go, while Mallett’s effort was deflected behind.

But Boro had Chafer to thank for a superb save as he kept out McKenzie’s well-struck shot with just under 20 minutes remaining.

Mott made a smart save at the other end, before 26-goal Chinedu McKenzie came on for Reynolds for the last quarter of an hour and Bichard limped off to be replaced by Jack Browne-Sykes, who saw a header deflected straight at Mott with four minutes of normal time left.

Cooper timed his tackle perfectly to deny McKenzie a shooting chance in the box as Boro pressed for an equaliser, with Kwasi Marfo’s last-gasp free-kick thudding into the Hornchurch defensive wall before the final whistle.

And while Urchins players, staff and supporters could celebrate their first success in four derby meetings, extending their unbeaten run to six matches, Boro were left particularly frustrated at going away empty-handed.

Hornchurch: Mott, Bentley, Nesbitt, Lee, Cooper, Chouman, Styles, Wall (Coley 87), McKenzie, Coker, Adeniji (Cohen 89). Unused subs: Morrish, Hussain, Da Cruz.

Romford: Chafer, Boswell, Marfo, Ishmail, Mallett, Bichard (Browne-Sykes 82), Olukoga (Adebayo 69), Grimme-Yexley, Reynolds (McKenzie 76), Taylor, Akpele. Unused subs: Barry, Cossington.


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