AFC Hornchurch 4 Romford 1
Report by Gary Redwin
Despite a hard working display Romford fell to defeat against top of the table and local rivals AFC Hornchurch.
On a scorching hot afternoon Paul Martin’s team was down to the bare bones and after a tough game against Tilbury he decided to change all three of his front line and also bring back James Ishmail for his first game of the season. The first half could only be described as uneventful with both defences on top. The Boro manager was angered half way through the half when the referee decided to pull play back for a free kick despite Craig Jeakins being through on goal. Hornchurch’s George Purcell went the closest for the hosts but one effort went well wide while another, was easily gathered in by Stephen Reynolds in the Romford goal. Tackles were flying in and eventually the referee decided to brandish the yellow cards first to home skipper Elliot Styles, then Jonathan Adebayo and Asher Modeste. Purcell was then booked for a late challenge on Reynolds, something that Romford keepers usually seem to be the victim of in these derbies.
Hornchurch must have had some Redbull at half time as they came out of the blocks much faster and opened the scoring five minutes after the restart. The initial ball into the box was cleared but it was played back in and while everyone in blue and gold stopped, Kenzer Lee poked the ball into the back of the net. Things went from bad to worse for Romford two minutes later when an excellent cross was headed home by an unmarked Brad Warner to double the host’s advantage. Hornchurch then won a very soft penalty which immediately followed a foul on a Romford man and Purcell smashed the spot kick low past Reynolds to make it three goals for Hornchurch in eight minutes. Hornchurch were on top but Romford were still battling in midfield and pushing forward and they got a lifeline when Jamie Dicks’ free kick took a huge deflection and looped past a wrong footed Sam Mott in the sixty-ninth minute. Unfortunately Romford could not find a way back into the game and Hornchurch looked more likely to extend their lead. Styles crashed a header against the bar before in injury time Warner cut in from the right and drilled a low shot into the corner to put a gloss on the scoreline for the hosts.
Both teams meet again next week in the FA Cup next Sunday and Romford will be hoping for a better result with home advantage and some absentees returning to the squad.
AFC Hornchurch: Sam Mott, Jamie Hursit, Jay Porter, Kenzer Lee, Nathan Cooper, Jed Chouman, Tobi Joseph (Martin Tuohy 86’)), Elliot Styles, Ross Wall (Theo Fairweather-Johnson 80’), George Purcell (Leon McKenzie 75’), Bradley Warner.
Scorers – Kenzer Lee (50’), Bradley Warner (52’), George Purcell (58’p), Bradley Warner (90+3)
Romford: Stephen Reynolds, Ryan Burt-Allen, Danny Cossington, James Ishmail (Chris Taylor 71’), Tom Vickers, Jamie Dicks, Jonathan Adebayo, Manny Brown (Jonathan Taylor 71’), Ola Giwa, Craig Jeakins, Asher Modeste (Ben Clarke 67’).
Scorers – Jamie Dicks (69’)