Potters Bar Town 0 Hornchurch 1
By Jeff Barnes
Scholars lose out to Urchins
Hornchurch moved up a place to fifteenth in the table following a hard fought win at Potters Bar Town, with the only goal of the game coming from Sean Marks 11 minutes from time.
POTTERS BAR TOWN 0 HORNCHURCH 1
PB – Tzaney, Budden, Lomas, Nicholas, O’Leary (Powell 45), Grace, Wynter, Bonnett-Johnson, Hutchinson, Sach (Ward-Cochrane 75) , Cole (Morgan-Cummings 69)
Subs – Laurencin
HFC – Chafer, Bentley ©, Sutton, Lee, Wilson, Clark (Goode 75), Christou, Spence, Marks, Purcell (Winn R 80), Stimson
Subs – Dutton, Turk
Bookings – Cole 36 (PB) – Bonnett-Johnson 66 (PB) – Winn 83 (H) – Bentley 85 (H)
Duration 47.00 + 48.00
POTTERS BAR TOWN 0 HORNCHURCH 1
George Purcell returned to the side following a 3 match suspension replacing Ronnie Winn. Kenzer Lee, unwell last time out, replaced George Winn in the heart of the defence.
Hornchurch had a chance to open the scoring in the first minute, when Nikola Tzaney in the home goal pushed a shot from Alex Bentley around the post. The corner from George Purcell was cleared to safety. Hornchurch continued to enjoy the majority of the possession, aided by the gale-force wind at their backs.
It was nearly fifteen minutes before Potters Bar could make any impression on the Hornchurch defence, when a shot from George Nicholas floated over and drifted wide of both Callum Chafer and the goal.
Two minutes later Charlie Stimson broke clear, and rode a couple of challenges, but was eventually crowded out. On 23 minutes Stimson charged down a clearance, and the loose ball ran to Sean Marks, but Tzaney was quick off the mark to smother the ball.
Potters Bar had a good opportunity when Durnell Wynter made a powerful run, but he miscued his shot and the ball went behind the goal for a goal kick.
On 36 minutes Keegan Cole went into the referee’s book for dissent, and shortly afterwards Marks knocked the ball down to Jo Christou, whose hard strike was tipped over the bar by Tzaney, but the corner was comfortably cleared.
Charlie Stimson had the ball in the Town yet but was adjudged to have been offside.
Hornchurch kept up the pressure and Stimson had a good chance to open the scoring when he broke free in the area, but fired his shot from eight yards out over the bar.
With two minutes signalled for stoppages, Stimson gained possession out on the right, and played the ball out to Purcell, who in turn found Lewwis Spence, only for his shot to go straight at the keeper.
There followed a lengthy pause in the play when Lee O’Leary was injured. A stretcher was called for and Stefan Powell came on as substitute.
Half time – Potters Bar Town 0 Hornchurch 0
With the gale now in their favour, Potters Bar had more of the territorial play, and two minutes into the second half Bradley Sach sent a shot straight at Chafer.
Andrew Lomas then made a good run down the left, but sliced his shot wide of the post, and soon afterwards a George Nicholas shot cleared the bar, as Potters Bar kept up the pressure.
The gale had a marked influence in the play, and although Hornchurch controlled the first half, it was Potters Bar who dominated the first fifteen minutes of the second period, mainly due to the strong wind blowing straight down the pitch.
It was not until 63 minutes that Hornchurch offered any further threat, and Potters Bar was relieved to clear the ball when it fell in front of the goal from a corner, with no one able to poke it into the goal.
On 66 minutes Sean Bonnett-Johnson became the second home player to go into the book, and less than a minute later he tried a shot from long-range that was deflected out for a corner, which was over hit and went out for a throw over the other side of the pitch.
On 69 minutes Potters Bar made their second substitution when Aaron Morgan-Cummings replaced Keegan Cole, and with fifteen minutes left to play, Ben Ward-Cochrane came on for Bradley Sach. Mark Stimson sent on James Goode for Jordan Clark.
The large following from Hornchurch, and of course also from Thurrock, were finally rewarded, when, on 79 minutes, Alex Bentley, who had been superb throughout, won the ball, and fed it through to Sean Marks, who placed his shot wide of Tzaney and into the net.
A minute later Ronnie Winn replaced George Purcell, and with five minutes to go, Alex Bentley was booked for a foul, conceding a free kick thirty yards out. With tension mounting, the free kick was fired hard and into the defensive wall by Morgan-Cummings, and was cleared.
Potters Bar tried hard to grab an equaliser and in stoppage time Chafer palmed away a Nicholas shot, and Kenzer Lee completed the clarance, and Hornchurch had overcome the gale to take three hard-earned points.
FULL TIME – POTTERS BAR TOWN 0 HORNCHURCH 1
Updated 11:40 - 17 Mar 2019 by Jeff Barnes