Goalless at Hornchurch
It was Hornchurch. It was cold.
Hornchurch (away): the two most frightening words on any Kingstonian fixture list. Ks last won at Hornchurch in 1984, a game so long ago that Ks web can’t name the scorers. They’ve scored twice there since 2003 (one for Dean Lodge and a Bobby Traynor penalty™). In the context of that, and a pitch that was seemingly designed to commemorate 1914’s Christmas truce at the Somme, Kingstonian’s 0-0 draw at Bridge Avenue was far from a disaster.
Kingstonian restored Josh Casey to midfield, as fellow-Casey, Dylan, made his debut at left back. Ks’ midfield four of Casey, Sweeney, Laidler and Henry tried to play football, with Pico Gomez linking the foursome with Elvis Hammond, but the pitch prevented them doing so. Any pass bobbled and any tackle cut the pitch up. Despite this, Kingstonian created enough chances to win. Dan Sweeney was the first to test Sam Mott in the host’s goal, but his long range effort was too close to the keeper. Mott had to be sharp to deny Chris Henry soon after, the winger’s header went back across goal, but Mott palmed it away. At the other end, Joe Christou had the best chance, but he mishit his volley after Sam Page had blocked a long range effort.
But the best chances continued to fall to Kingstonian. Dylan Casey’s overlap caused havoc, and while Henry met his cross cleanly, Mott was once again equal to it, tipping the ball over the ball. PNext up was Gomez, but his effort from the edge of the area was drilled against the post, bouncing just out of Elvis Hammond’s reach. The last chance of half fell to Henry, but this time his looping header fell onto the bar and away.
The second half saw the pitch deteriorate, the temperature drop and even less football occur. Long ball were hit, headers were won and chances were scare. Hornchurch possible had the best of it, but aside from Martin Tuohy’s effort into the side netting, for much of the half, Kingstonian’s defense stood firm, with Dylan Casey impressing. At the other end, Ks created far fewer chances. A late goalmouth scramble saw Page and Gomez go close, before Josh Casey’s header was stopped by Mott. The final chance of the game was the best one. A long ball over the top saw Tobi Joseph get in behind the visitor’s backline with all the time in the world. Rob Tolfrey stood up well and got a firm foot on Joseph’s drive to secure Kingstonian left Essex with a hard-earned point.
Match reports by Jamie Cutteridge.