Hornchurch match report
match report by Philip Murphy
Hornchurch defeated Kingstonian 2-1 in a controversial encounter at the Hornchurch Stadium. Tom Wraight’s late goal sealed the points for the FA Trophy holders just moments after an Elliott Buchanan effort was ruled out for offside.
K’s started the game with an unchanged side and opened brightly. Bryant Akono Bilongo fired over after good work from Daniel Ajakaiye in the early stages and a Rhys Murrell-Williamson in-swinging ball narrowly went over the bar.
In the 14th minute it was the home side who took the lead against the run of play. An in-swinging corner from the right evaded Rob Tolfrey, ricocheted off Ollie Cook and bounced into the K’s net.
In truth, the goal seemed to rock Hayden Bird’s men who lost their early foothold on the game.
After a sluggish 20 minutes, K’s conjured up an equaliser out of nowhere. Daniel Ajakaiye plucked a ball from the sky, shrugged off a couple of defenders and fired at goal. Hornchurch keeper, Joe Wright, got a touch, but the shot had just enough power to land in the net behind him.
Moments later K’s almost added a second when Ollie Cook was denied on the line following a Kenny Beaney corner. As the attack continued Jason Banton’s effort was smartly saved before Rhys Murrell-Williamson’s attempt found the grateful arms of Wright in the Hornchurch goal.
The first big flashpoint of the game came on the stroke of half-time. Tom Wraight thundered into Nyren Clunis. K’s appeals for a red card fell on deaf ears however as Mark Pond deemed a caution sufficient. On another day he may have seen red, but it was, in truth, the sort of challenge that rarely merits more than a yellow in the rough and tumble of the Isthmian.
Half-Time: Hornchurch 1-1 Kingstonian
The home side were forced to start the second half with a personnel change, Finley Thackway stepping in for Joe Wright between the sticks following an injury to the No 1.
K’s struggled to test the deputising stopper as The Urchins enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges. A Liam Nash cross was just about scrambled clear by as K’s suppressed early pressure from the home side.
Controversy struck 16 minutes from time when Nyren Clunis drove from the right and put Elliott Buchanan through on goal. The clinical striker converted from close range in customary fashion. Celebrations were short-lived however as the linesman adjudged Buchanan to be offside, much to the frustration of the vociferous K’s fans who were stationed behind the referee’s assistant.
With K’s hearts still racing The Urchins charged up the field and grabbed what turned out to be the winner just a minute later. Tom Wraight converted the rebound after Tolfrey had made a great save from Spence. Wishful appeals for offside were in vain and the home side were back in the lead.
K’s pushed for the equaliser in the late stages and Nyren Clunis, now in an advanced wide right position provided the main attacking threat, fizzing across goal just beyond the reach of a Kingstonian boot.
In injury time K’s had it in the net again when Clunis crossed and Ajakaiye bundled home on the rebound. The linesman’s flag intervened once again; correctly, on this occasion.
The Urchins should and probably could have sealed the deal in the dying moments but first Ollie Cook and later Rob Tolfrey denied the home side with crucial interventions.
Two goals were to prove enough for the FA Trophy holders, condemning K’s to a first defeat in nine games. The result capped off a frustrating afternoon all-round where the rub of the green evaded Bird’s side who never quite reached the heights of recent weeks.
Next up for Kingstonian is a trip to in-form Potters Bar Town on Tuesday night.
Hornchurch: Joe Wright, Ronnie Winn, Jordan Clark, Rickie Hayles, Ellis Brown, Joe Christou, Charlie Stimson, Liam Nash, Tom Wraight, Charlie Ruff, Lewwis Spence.
Subs: Tobi Joseph (for Charlie Stimson, 71m), Finley Thackway (for Joe Wright, HT), Ola Ogunwamide (for Charlie Ruff, 71m). Jili Buyabu.
Subs: Jerry Puemo, Aaron Lamont (for Jason Banton, 82m), Jay Barton, Juevan Spencer (for Rhys Murrell-Williamson, 71m), Teo Kurtaran.
Goal scorers: own goal (1-0, 16m), Daniel Ajakaiye (36m, 1-1), Tom Wraight (75m, 2-1)