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Saturday 16-January-2016



S – Garnham – Robinson – Wilkinson – Berquez (Bailey 85)  – Henshaw – Mallardo – Newman (Blackwell 73) – Sam Clarke – George Clarke – Parker – Wales (Maybanks 73)

Subs – Baughurst – Clements


HFC – Mott – Chouman – Luke – May – Cooper – Goodacre – Knight (Coyne 89) – Styles © - McKenzie – Purcell – Bentley

Subs – Collis – Poku – Dove – Thompson


Officials – Alistair Wilson with Vincenzo Byatts and Joshua Crofts


Scorers – George Clarke 65 (S) – Purcell 67 (H)


Bookings – Sam Clarke 17 (S) – Bentley 20 (H) - Styles 25 (H) – Cooper 41 (H) - Henshaw 61 (S) – Luke 83 (H)


Attendance 403

Duration 46.00 + 51.00

Weather – clear, 4 degrees




Sudbury had won their last ten matches, but they can consider themselves fortunate to take a point, in a match where Hornchurch had sufficient chances to have gone into the interval with a commanding lead.


Perhaps the most telling factor was a series of bookings, and one must question the validity of all four of those handed out to Hornchurch, whilst the worst tackle of the match, on Jed Chouman, went unpunished. At times Hornchurch players were reluctant to challenge for the ball for fear of the dreaded yellow card, which was waved far too often and for trivialities.


And when a player catches the ball in the final minute of the match, and when the player in question is not the goalkeeper, one must wonder why play was allowed to continue – Hornchurch supporters behind the goal were confident that a penalty would be awarded, as were the Hornchurch team – but not the referee, and Sudbury were let off very leniently.


It is fair to say that the Hornchurch management team was far from impressed - and nor were the supporters behind the goal.


The match was played on Sudbury’s artificial 3G surface, and the ball at times had a mind of its own – the pitch looked green, but it was certainly not grass – enough said.


Hornchurch started powerfully and could have taken a first minute lead, when George Purcell outpaced the defence, when he ran on to a long ball after Joey May had won possession, but sent his shot wide of the far post.


And Alex Bentley cross-cum-shot was deflected out for a corner, and Purcell again went close when Jed Chouman sent him clear, only for Marcus Garnham to save well.


Sudbury were rarely a threat, though it took a fine tackle by Bentley to dispossess Ollie Berquez after Jack Wilkinson had given him a shooting chance.


A minute later Sam Clarke became the first player to be booked for a very wild challenge, which fortunately did not connect with Jed Chouman, as it would possibly have otherwise merited more than a yellow card.


Alex Bentley then went into the book for a challenge which at the time was unpenalised, until some time later when the ball went out of play.


And Sudbury had their best chance when a corner fell to Ryan Henshaw, but he sent him shot wide of the post.


At the other end, a Jed Chouman cross was turned away for a corner, which Joey May sent over to David Knight, but he put his shot narrowly wide of the post.


Elliot Styles was then booked for a tackle on Craig Parker. Parker took the free kick but the set piece went completely wrong and the opportunity was wasted.


Knight ran on to a Luke pass and his shot was turned around the post for a corner, Bentley fired wide shortly afterwards, and then Nathan Cooper went into the book, for what seemed a legitimate tackle.


A minute from half time Purcell played the ball to Leon McKenzie, but it ran away from him on the unpredictable surface, and in stoppage time Purcell ran towards goal, but once again could not reach the ball.


Sudbury came much more into the match as an attacking force after the interval, when Parker headed wide from a Ben Robinson cross, and a jack Newman free kick was almost converted via the head of George Clarke, after Junior Luke conceded a free kick for hand ball.


Referee Alistair Wilson then booked Steffano Mallardo for a foul on Knight.


Sudbury had a narrow escape when keeper Garnham rushed out of the area and George Purcell went crashing to the ground, but after a conversation with this lineman, the referee awarded a free kick to the home side, to the great relief of the home crowd, and to the amazement of the large away following.


Styles was spoken to for dissent after conceding a free kick, before Sudbury’s Ryan Henshaw was booked for a foul on Purcell.


Nathan Cooper made an excellent interception on the line after Liam Wales had beaten Sam Mott with his shot, but Sudbury went ahead when George Clarke converted Ben Robinson’s centre from the right.


The massive away following got behind Hornchurch with their vocal support, and two minutes later they were rewarded, when             Luke picked out Joey May, and his shot was cleared off the line, but only as far as George Purcell who made no mistake with a hard volley from the edge of the area.


Play went from end to end and Junior Luke went into the book for what was considered to be a foul on substitute Jordan Blackwell.


Billy Coyne came on in place of the hardworking David Knight, who had shortly before gone close with a hard drive, and Hornchurch again took control, s the match went into stoppage time.


In the third minute of stoppage time Billy Coyne’s long throw found Joey May, and there was a mass appeal for hand ball, but play was allowed to continue and Sudbury escaped with a very fortunate point.

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