Source: courtesy AFC Hornchurch official site
AFC Hornchurch 1 vs. Truro City 2
On a very wet day, and with the pitch heavy following rain throughout the previous day, Hornchurch adapted better to the conditions and dominated the first thirty minutes.
The Truro defence was opened up in the first minute when Lewis Smith played a ball out to Chris Bourne, whose cross into the middle was deflected by Stewart Yetton for a corner. Joey May’s kick was partially cleared and the ball was played to Lewis Smith, who set out on a good run which ended with a shot which seemed to be a certain goal until Paul Hider made the first of many fine saves, although the keeper was fortunate when Wayne Gray followed up, but stroked the ball wide of the post.
Kieron St Aimie fired wide from a May free kick, and Hornchurch maintained the pressure, with Smith involved in most of the attacks.
Smith found himself with a good run at goal when he ran on to an Alex Bentley pass, but his shot was tipped on to the underside of the bar by Hider.
Smith next opened up the Truro defence to give Bourne a shooting chance, but the shot went too high and over the bar.
St Aimie was pulled down when going through, and May’s free kick drifted across goal and wide of the far post.
Wayne Gray created an opening for himself and ran through the defence, but was denied by another excellent save from Hider, who turned the shot around the post and then touched the corner from May over the bar for a follow up corner, which this time was sent across too low and was cleared comfortably.
Until now Truro had not been into the match as an attacking force, and the only time Joe Woolley touched the ball was to field a back header from Reiss Noel.
The match turned dramatically on 34 minutes when Lewis Smith was shown a straight red after a badly mistimed tackle on Barry Hayles, who was himself fortunate to remain on the pitch when he appeared to retaliate.
Truro continued to defend for the rest of the half, though Hornchurch could only manage two further corners, as they lost their midfield supremacy.
One minute into the second half and Truro went in front when STEWART YETTON headed home a high centre from the left.
Hornchurch continued to come forward, and drew level when Elliot Styles sent a pass through to JOEY MAY who scored with a well placed shot through a crowd of defenders.
And Hornchurch could have taken the lead when Chris Bourne ran through, only for his shot to cannon back off the bar.
Bourne almost broke through on the left but was tackled by Cody Cooke who turned the ball out for a corner.
Truro were given an opening when Alex Bentley slipped and this allowed Andy Watkins a clear run at goal, and Woolley was called into serious action for the first time, making an excellent save to turn the ball out for a corner.
Michael Spencer came on for Chris Bourne, and Truro took the lead soon afterwards when the ball was cleared from a corner up the field, was played back by Ben Gerring to ANDY WATKINS who ran on and neatly hit his shot past Woolley.
Truro now began to make the most of their one-player advantage, and Woolley saved from Watkins, turning the ball out for a corner, and then from Cody Cooke, again deflecting the shot wide.
When Rickie Hayles conceded a penalty, Woolley was again in action, diving to save the penalty from Marcus Martin, and then blocking Hayle’s follow up shot.
Tambeson Eyong replaced Wayne Gray, and Hornchurch threw everyone forward in an effort to equalize.
The closest they came was in stoppage time when a short from Frankie Curley came back off the bar, whilst with almost the final kick of the match Hider made another fine save, when he dived to turn a shot from St Aimie around the post.
Yetton 46, Watkins 62
Subs – Billy Coyne - James Love – Simon Glover
TC – Paul Hider – Stewart Yetton – Martin Watts – Ben Gerring – Paul Kendall – Jake Ash © - Jordan Copp (Cody Cooke at half time) – Marcus Martin (Joe Broad 83) – Barry Hayles – Andy Watkins – Les Afful
Subs – Ben Williams – Lee Hodges
Bookings – St Aimie 21 (TC) – Kendall 23 (TC) - Smith 34 (H) OFF – Yetton 72 (TC)
Officials – W Porter with E Clark and J Turner
Duration 47.19 + 48.14
Weather – 11 degrees, rain, wind speed 5 mph