WINGATE & FINCHLEY 1 HORNCHURCH 1
WF - Gore, Williams, Eadie, Weatherstone, Cronin, Ebelebe (Braddock 66), Ifil, Putman (Laney 71), Charles-Smith (Monsheju 75), Beckles-Richards, Tejan-Sie
HFC - Chafer, Hursit, Porter, Lee, Cooper ©, Bentley, Saunders, Warner (Hogan 72), Marks, Purcell ( Fairweather-Johnson 76), Livings (Coker 89)
Subs - McKenzie, Collis
Officials - Neil Morrison with Bogdan Caraghin and Andrew Batten
Scorers - Purcell 6 (H) - Charles-Smith 63 (WF)
Bookings - Eadie 37 (WF) - Saunders 74 (H) - Hogan 90+5 (H) - Laney 90+5 (WF)
Duration - 46.00 + 52.00
WF - very dark blue
H - all yellow
WINGATE & FINCHLEY 1 HORNCHURCH 1
Both sides could probably felt that they could have won, with Wingate possibly having a slightly better claim, in a tense match where both teams had late chances to have taken the points.
Wingate, kicking towards the £5 car park end of the ground - yes, it was £5 to park, no wonder that most chose to park in the side streets - Reece Beckles-Richards made the first dangerous run of the match, moving rapidly through the midfield, before his pass cum shot deflected for a corner.
Hornchurch replied within a minute, with George Purcell firing over the bar after good work by Bradley Warner, and on six minutes a cross from the right found Sean Marks, who headed back to George Purcell to score from close range.
Hornchurch had the better of the territorial play, though a shot from Ola Williams sailed over and into the car park, and Callum Chafer comfortably fielded a long range attempt by Isaac Ebelebe.
The home goal came under pressure with two corners inside a minute, and George Saunders made a good run along the right, but his cross was cut out before it could reach Marks. For the most part play was confined to midfield, with Hornchurch frequently looking dangerous without being able to break through a solid defence, whilst most of the home attacks met a similar fate.
Two minutes before the interval Hornchurch conceded a free kick on the edge of the area, and everyone came back to defend what was a good opportunity for Wingate to get back on level terms. After what seemed an age, the free kick was taken, and the ball sailed harmlessly over the bar, the only danger being to the car windscreens behind the goal.
At half time Hornchurch led by the only goal, and they were top of the table.
Hornchurch almost doubled their lead with a rapid move down the left shortly after the interval, the ball eventually going across the face of the goal, and on 50 minutes Marks nodded on to Purcell, who turned sharply but put his shot into the side netting.
Wingate began to force the pace and after a couple of near misses, they equalised when Marc Charles-Smith forced the ball into the net from close range.
There was a scare for Hornchurch when Chafer punched away a high centre from the left, and the ball was returned into a crowded goalmouth, before being played out for a corner, but the real concern was that Chafer needed a long spell of attention before being able to resume, with many of the away following wondering if Dave Collis would be called upon to take over in goal.
As Wingate piled on the pressure, Hornchurch survived a goal line scare and a somewhat hopeful penalty appeal, but Hornchurch weathered the onslaught and came back strongly, with Shane Gore in the home goal making an excellent save to deny Sean Marks from just a few yards out.
Back at the other end Tommy Tejan-Sie curled a high centre into the goalmouth, Chafer punched clear and the ball was played back into the goalmouth, eventually being booted deep upfield to relieve the pressure.
George Saunders became the first Hornchurch player to go into the referee’s book, joining Layne Eadie who had picked up a yellow card in the first half.
Hornchurch came more into the game as Wingate lost some of their momentum, and Jay Porter made a good run along the left, his centre being headed away with Marks waiting in vain.
Four minutes from time a Wingate header went wide, and a minute later Theo Fariweather-Johnson, having replaced Purcell, made a run through the middle, with Gore just beating him to the ball.
Tobi Coker came on for Nathan Livings, and with Connor Hogan already on for Warner, everyone waited to find out how many minutes were to be added on, and when the board showed seven more minutes to go, both sets of supporters wondered if they could hold out, as the action swung from end to end.
Marks went close with a curling shot, and at the other end Hogan and Rob Laney were both booked, with the free kick going to Wingate, which was sent deep into the area, with the ball bobbing around the goalmouth too close to the line for comfort. Into the final couple of minutes and it was Wingate’s turn to survive a scare, when Marks almost broke through, and after seven over-long minutes, with the clock seeming to have stopped, the final whistle went, to the relief of both sets of supporters.
Edited by Dagger03, 15 August 2018 - 08:30 AM.