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Saturday 12-December-2015



HS – Sambridge – Thomas © - Crpss – Ling – Townrow – Humphrey – Smith – Godbold – Barham (Davidson 88) – Cole (Scarlett 77) – Duyile (Pooley 68)

Subs – Doyle – Cole


HFC – Mott – Coyne (McKenzie 61) – Bentley – Styles © - Goodacre – May – Thompson (Dove 84) – Collis – Knight – Purcell – Luke (Chouman 71)

Sub – Poku


Officials – Scott Williams with Robert Claussen and David Moreno-Rojas


Scorer – Duyile 51

Booking – Ling 90+4

Attendance 113

Duration 47.00 + 51.00

Weather – 14 degrees, overcast, wind speed up to 30 mph




The rain had stopped but the overflowing rivers as we approached Heybridge indicated that conditions would be extremely soft, and when we entered the car park it was a question of stepping around the many deep puddles to get to the entrance. However, the pitch was in very good condition and a credit to the home groundsman.


The only real problem was the strong wind, which once again made good football a lottery. And it was Heybridge, at the bottom of the table and desperate to avoid the drop into the Essex Senior League, who coped by far the better of the two teams.


Hornchurch were without Tobi Joseph, who, despite his injury, was in attendance at the match on crutches, and also without Nathan Cooper, who had picked up five bookings (two of them with his previous club) and was therefore serving a one-match suspension.


For the most part, the Hornchurch forwards received little decent service, with the ball often passing ten feet or more above their heads, with the packed home defence promptly heading it back upfield.


Hornchurch kicked against the wind in the first half, and started confidently, with a George Purcell shot being blocked and another being saved by Danny Sambridge in the home goal. We did not know it at the time but this was the only shot on target.


It was a constant source of irritation that the home side were allowed to gain ten yards or more at throw ins, though their forwards rarely offered any threat, apart from a shot by Jack Smith which went wide.


Hornchurch had more of the attacking play but could not break through, though a lengthy run by Junior Luke looked promising, only for keeper Sambridge to come out and smother the ball at Luke’s feet.


Luke again threatened, but was fouled by Liam Thomas – one of many free kicks awarded to Hornchurch – and Joey May’s free kick was punched away by Sambridge.


Abs Thompson made a good run from the right and his shot went wide, but it was Heybridge who almost took the lead, close to half time, when a shot from the left came back off the near post and was cleared.


Hornchurch had the wind in their favour after the interval, and they started well, when a May corner found Purcell, but his shot came back off the massed defence of the home side, and two minutes later Heybridge scored with their only shot that was on target, George Cole started the move on the left, when he took advantage of a defensive error, and he played the ball into the middle where it was touched on to Raphael Duyile, who fired home for what proved to be the only goal of the match.


Hornchurch brought on Leon McKenzie, and at last won a high ball in the air, and it was McKenzie who went close when his header from a Luke throw just cleared the bar.


Fifteen minutes from time Hornchurch began lay siege to the home goal. Elliot Styles then out a shot wide, and McKenzie again went close with a header, which was a fraction too high, and over the bar. But despite the territorial advantage, most of the moves ended with the home defence heading the ball back up the field, and in the six minutes of stoppage time, although the ball bobbed around the home goal, it never looked like going into the net.

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