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Saturday 23-December-2017



HFC - Mott, Bentley, Porter, Styles ©, Cooper, Oluwatimilihin, Fanimo (Chouman 81), Livings (Roberts 75), McKenzie, Purcell (Fairweather-Johnson 73), Warner

Subs - Hursit, Joseph


BT - Tibbles, Allen, Jolland, Fenn, White, Clements, Mills (Robinson 64), Aitken, Ramadan, Barber (Yaxley 78), Hughes

Subs - Dunlop, Kennedy


Officials - Hugh Gilroy with Conor Griffin and Deryll David


Scorers - McKenzie 10 - Livings 36 - Fanimo 47

Bookings - McKenzie 33 (H) - Chouman 86 (H) - Styles 90 (H)

Attendance 183

Duration 47.00 + 49.00





When Elliot Styles led Hornchurch out this afternoon, it marked his 524th appearance, one more than Peter Goddard’s previous record. It was also Elliot’s 384th appearance as captain.


When Hornchurch won 4-1 at Bury earlier in the season, the Bury web site described the Hornchurch second half performance, as ‘ Strong at the back, quick in midfield, and deadly up front’.


This could also apply to their display for the first 47 minutes this afternoon, but thereafter they struggled to maintain their momentum, and Bury, with Teven Allen and Darren Mills prominent in most of their moves, came back strongly, but, apart from one shot that came back off the post late in the match, they could not penetrate the home defence.


Hornchurch kicked towards the Windmill End of the ground, and could have taken a very early lead when a lengthy wind-assisted Sam Mott kick was flicked on by Leon McKenzie to George Purcell, but Luis Tibbles turned the shot around the post for a corner.


Brad Warner went close shortly afterwards, but the opening goal soon followed, when Matthias Fanimo played the ball in from the left, and Leon McKenzie turned sharply and fired past Tibbles.


Tibbles was again in action on 23 minutes when he held on to a hard free kick from Brad Warner, out on the right, whilst at the other end Jay Porter cleared when Mills found himself with a scoring chance from close range after a cross from Ollie Hughes, who had moved quickly on to a pass from Ryan Jolland.


Porter then played a long ball forward to Purcell, but Tibbles saved in fine style. The second goal came on 36 minutes, after Warner had set up McKenzie, whose shot was deflected for a corner. Warner floated the ball into the goalmouth, and although the ball was partially cleared it was played back to Purcell, whose cross found Olumide Oluwatimilihin, whose hard drive cannoned back off the crossbar, and Nathan Livings was quick to follow up to score his first goal since joining Hornchurch.


Hornchurch continued to press, and Alex Bentley played a good pass out to McKenzie, and his cross reached Matthias Fanimo, but his first time shot was just wide of the post.


Bury won a corner as the half went into stoppage time, but it was at the other end where the real drama occurred, when Hornchurch had a very loud appeal for a penalty rejected.


Ninety seconds into the second half, the score became three nil, when Matthias Fanimo raced through from close to the half way line, left defenders trailing in his wake, and neatly slotted the ball past Tibbles.


And that was where the pattern of play changed, as Bury came back strongly, and when Mills crossed from the right, their leading scorer, Cemal Ramadan, went close with a powerful header.


Perhaps surprisingly the very influential Mills was then substituted, although his replacement, Tommy Robinson, also gave the home defence a few problems.


Bury won a series of corners, but could not find a way through, although Hornchurch had a let-off when a shot from the left hit the post before rebounding across the goalmouth and out of play.


At the other end, Fanimo went close with a fine shot from a McKenzie cross, and Theo Fairweather-Johnson, on for Purcell, put over a good cross from the left that was scrambled away.


Hornchurch had no difficulty in playing out the remaining few minutes, and they maintain their five points lead over their nearest challengers, Bower & Pitsea, who have played two matches more, and are ten points ahead of Canvey Island, who have played the same number of games as Hornchurch.

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