Styles heads Hornchurch to success

PUBLISHED: 08:45 09 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:59 10 April 2017

Elliot Styles of Hornchurch celebrates his goal at Waltham Abbey (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Elliot Styles of Hornchurch celebrates his goal at Waltham Abbey (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Waltham Abbey 0 Hornchurch 1

A late header from captain Elliot Styles earned Hornchurch all three Ryman North points at Waltham Abbey, but some felt the match should not have started given the pitch conditions.

Urchins were without Abs Thompson, Usman Adeniji, John Easterford and Nathan Cooper, with Tobi Joseph joining the ever-growing list during the week after an operation on his leg that will keep him out until next season.

And, on a bright and sunny day at Capershotts, they lost recent signing Sam Bantick to another injury in the first half.

Hornchurch had difficulty in settling on a virtually unplayable surface and Maric Logon had the first chance of the match, with a cross-shot which Styles deflected for a corner.

Former Urchin Michael Spencer then fired over, having worked himself into a shooting position, before Leon McKenzie shot narrowly wide from an Abs Seymour corner.

Sam Mott saved a cross from Benjamin Glasgow and it was not until 27 minutes that Hornchurch threatened, when James Pellin saved well from McKenzie.

Hornchurch then lost Bantick, who limped off to be replaced by Gary Cohen, and the newcomer won a corner on the right, which Seymour delivered for Kenzer Lee to head just wide at the far post.

Eli Benoit went into the book for a badly mistimed tackle and Seymour sent the free kick deep into the Abbey goalmouth, where Ross Wall headed wide at the far post.

But Mott saved well from Spencer as the half drew to a close, before Wall found Martin Tuohy in stoppage time and Pellin dived to save from close range.

Abbey spent much of the second half in defence, with Jed Chouman’s shot from the halfway line just clearing the bar after the restart.

On 51 minutes, Seymour floated a free kick deep into the box and the ball was played forward for McKenzie to hook it hard into the net, but the mass jubilation behind the goal was quickly stifled when the goal was disallowed for offside.

McKenzie went close a minute later from a Cohen pass, with Pellin saving well at the expense of a corner.

And George Purcell came on for Tuohy, racing on to a McKenzie pass and being tackled in the box, with penalty appeals turned down.

With Abbey under constant pressure, Alex Bentley’s throw led to the first of two successive corners, from the second of which Styles placed his header wide of Pellin, only for the ball to drift past the post.

Purcell linked up with Cohen, with the cross being deflected for a corner, which found Lee, whose header was also wide.

Then in a rare breakaway, Mott saved from Spencer, and normal service was resumed at the other end, where Chouman went close after running on to a Cohen pass.

Abbey were defending desperately, a little too desperately at times, as keeper Pellin rushed out of his goal to bring down Purcell.

Many of the travelling supporters called for a red card, but the referee correctly waved a yellow and Purcell’s free kick hit a defender and went just past the post for a corner.

Seymour sent the ball into a packed goalmouth and Purcell and McKenzie linked up to set up Lee, whose shot cannoned off the bar.

Purcell had been booked before the corner and Jim McFarlane sent on Saam Pishvaie for Wall, before Seymour’s centre was headed home by Styles for the winner.

A minute later it could have been 2-0 as Cohen burst through a disorganised defence, but hit his shot wide on the bobbly surface.

Purcell then fed the ball through to Pishvaie, who was making his debut after receiving international clearance from former club Girona, and Pellin saved well to keep the ball out of the net.

Abbey tried to get back into the game as the match entered stoppage time, but with Bentley and Lee standing firm in defence the home forwards could not manage a shot on target.

Victory keeps Hornchurch in third place, but now only three points behind Maldon after they were held to a draw by Dereham, with Phoenix Sports set to visit Bridge Avenue next weekend.

Hornchurch: Mott, Bentley, Nesbitt, Styles, Lee, Chouman, Bantick (Cohen 31), Seymour, McKenzie, Tuohy (Purcell 57), Wall (Pishvaie 82). Unused subs: Hursit, Hussain.

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