Thurrock 1 Hornchurch 0: Urchins suffer play-off defeat at Fleet
PUBLISHED: 21:44 26 April 2017
©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468
Ryman North play-off semi-final: Thurrock 1 (Sutton 12) Hornchurch 0
Hornchurch saw their hopes of promotion end in the Ryman North play-off semi-finals following a 1-0 loss away to Thurrock.
A sluggish first half saw Urchins struggling to get into proceedings early on, though they grew into the game and by the end were unlucky not to be level.
The second half continued to be a tense affair, with both teams struggling to carve out openings as the Bridge Avenue club failed to find an equaliser.
Hornchurch made three changes following Saturday’s loss at home to Bowers & Pitsea, with Kenzer Lee, Jed Chouman and Martin Tuohy coming in to the XI.
The trio replaced John Easterford, Teddy Nesbitt and John Easterford, who all dropped to the bench, where they were joined by George Purcell and Sam Bantick.
Urchins were under pressure from the off, with Thurrock’s Mark Onyemah testing Sam Mott in the away goal inside two minutes.
In the 12th minute, though, McFarlane’s men did fall behind when Remi Sutton found the net for the Fleet.
A cross into the box was flicked on at the near post into the path of Sutton, who shot from 15 yards, with his effort going through a body of players on its way past Mott.
In need of a quick response, good link-up play between Hornchurch forwards Leon McKenzie and Tuohy eventually set Abs Seymour free down the left.
However, the winger’s subsequent cross was poor and collected at the near post by Thurrock stopper Bobby Mason.
From there, both teams seemed to tense up a little, with the next moment of action coming 10 minutes later.
Sutton was involved again, breaking into the box for the hosts, before a superb last-ditch challenge from Nathan Cooper denied him, though the Fleet appealed for a penalty.
With 14 minutes left in the half, Urchins had a great chance to level after Tuohy effortlessly controlled a cross from the left.
However, the Hornchurch forward was quickly closed down and his effort under pressure was straight at Mason.
Tuohy went close again four minutes later, narrowly nodding a Seymour free-kick from the left over from 10 yards.
Hornchurch, though, were unable to find the net before the break as they went into half-time still trailing to Sutton’s goal.
Things did not get any easier in the second half, however, for the Bridge Avenue club, with Seymour forced off in the 50th minute through injury.
Seymour was replaced by Nesbitt, who perhaps should have levelled the scores 11 minutes after coming on.
The Urchins winger latched on to a Tuohy ball over the top, but Nesbitt was closed down quickly by Mason, who was able to block the effort at close range.
The second half was certainly lacking in action, surmised with a long-range shot from Thurrock midfielder Jordan Clark exciting the crowd despite going well wide in the 69th minute.
With eight minutes remaining, only a superb Mott save at full stretch prevented Sutton from adding a second and doubling the Fleets’ lead.
Six minutes later, Hornchurch came close to an equaliser again when Tuohy almost turned in a flick on from replacement Ross Wall.
However, no last-gasp equaliser was forthcoming as Urchins lost for the third game in a row and saw their season come to an end in the play-offs.
Thurrock (4-4-2): Mason; R Winn, Hall, Bruce, Sutton; Clark, Onyemah (Barham 90+2), Poole, G Winn (Morgan 46); Stimson (Cowley 58), Christou
Subs: Wheatley, Pindy
Hornchurch (4-4-2): Mott; Cohen, Lee, Cooper, Bentley; Thompson (Wall 66), Chouman, Styles, Seymour (Nesbitt 50); McKenzie (Purcell 66), Wall
Subs: Easterford, Bantick
Referee: Thomas Hancock
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Romford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.