Spot-on Leon sees Hornchurch end 2016 on a high

PUBLISHED: 15:30 31 December 2016 | UPDATED: 15:30 31 December 2016

Hornchurch striker Leon McKenzie (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch striker Leon McKenzie (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Brentwood Town 0 Hornchurch 1

Hornchurch ended the year on a winning note and extended their unbeaten run to 15 matches in Ryman North thanks to Leon McKenzie’s second-half penalty.

Urchins returned to action after an impressive 3-1 home win over Aveley just before Christmas, with Joey May and Gary Cohen coming into the starting line-up for Abs Seymour, who has joined Premier Division outfit Billericay, and the suspended Junior Luke.

And they had a good chance to take the lead midway through the first half when Abs Thompson crossed for Cohen, who scooped the ball over from close range.

Cohen was shown a yellow card on the half-hour mark, with Nathan Cooper having his name taken soon after, and May saw a free-kick deflected into the arms of Brentwood keeper Muhammed Otuyo as the first half ended goalless.

May picked out Kenzer Lee from another free-kick six minutes into the second half, but his header across goal could not find a team-mate.

Brentwood went close on 54 minutes with a shot that flew across the face of Sam Mott’s goal, but the breakthrough came just past the hour mark when Urchins were awarded a penalty and McKenzie stepped up to tuck home his 21st goal of the campaign.

Brentwood were reduced to 10 men as Sam Owusu was dismissed for a second bookable offence, as May made way for James Morrish.

And the visitors had a great chance to double their lead on 72 minutes when Thompson ran clear and drew Otuyo, only to see his pass across the face of the open goal bisect both McKenzie and Ross Wall.

Morrish became the third Hornchurch player to be cautioned soon after, before manager Jimmy McFarlane sent Tobi Joseph on for the final 13 minutes in place of Cohen, following a long injury lay-off for a broken leg.

And the visitors held on for all three points to move up to fifth place ahead of their first outing of 2017 to Thurrock on Tuesday.

Brentwood: Otuyo, Sampayo, Greenslade, Owusu, Martin (Burgess 46), Cavalier, Milner, Rees, Ogunbayo, Freeman, Bowens (Erhabor 89). Unused subs: Cordara-Soares, Ngandu.

Hornchurch: Mott, Bentley, Da Cruz, Lee, Cooper, Chouman, Thompson (Hussein 88), Wall, McKenzie, May (Morrish 64), Cohen (Joseph 77).

Unused subs: Styles, Coley.

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