Pitching In Isthmian Premier, Monday 29th August 2022
The Blues were left to rue a missed second half penalty as they suffered a second successive defeat on the road on Bank Holiday Monday, going down 2-1 at Hornchurch.
Steve Smith was again forced into changes with Darren Foxley and Frankie Merrifield added to a growing injury list whilst Sam Robbins again sat out due to suspension. Assistant Manager Luke Callander was named amongst the substitutes and his late appearance was his first for the Blues since August 2019.
It was a scrappy opening to the contest with Jack Giddens’ stop from Liam Nash the only action until the Urchins took the lead on 28 minutes. The Blues were unable to clear a Tom Wraight free kick and were punished with David Smith slamming home from 12 yards.
The Blues were well below par for the entire first period and went further behind on 38 minutes after giving the ball away needlessly when in possession, handing Sam Higgins the opportunity to go through one on one and he fired home via the post.
The Blues eventually got going in the second half and controlled the game for long periods, with Harris forcing former Blue Joe Wright into his first save of the game with a header from Jonny Giles’ cross.
With 17 minutes left on the watch the Blues were back in the game. Tosin Olufemi beat his man on the right-hand side and delivered a fabulous cross for Harris to turn home from 6 yards to reduce the arrears.
Two minutes later the chance came to level the match with Mickey Parcell adjudged to have handled substitute Archie Edwards’ cross. Harris stepped up confidently but saw his well hit effort rebound back off the crossbar as the Urchins breathed a sigh of relief.
The game opened up with the Blues pushing for the equaliser, which allowed Hornchurch a number of chances on the break. The best of those fell to Lewwis Spence who struck a thunderous 25-yard strike that Giddens was at full stretch to turn behind.
Smith rolled the dice with the introduction of veteran Callander for the final few minutes but the visitors were unable to carve out a final opportunity and Hornchurch held on for maximum points.
Hornchurch: Wright, Parcell, Sutton, Bertram-Cooper, Hayles, Wraight, Christou, Spence, Higgins, Nash (Ogunwamide 81), Smith (Joseph 71). Subs Not Used: Stimson, Onyemah, Munn
Blues: Giddens, Porter, Church, Henshaw, Johnson (Giles 60), Harris, Olufemi, Thomas, Egbri (Edwards 71), Haines, Peters (Callander 83). Subs Not Used: Allum, Beadle
The Blues will look to bounce back on Saturday when they enter the Emirates FA Cup in the First Qualifying Round. St Neots Town visit the R&D Advisors UK Stadium for a 3pm kick off.
The next Pitching In Isthmian Premier fixture takes place a week later on Saturday 10th September when we host Aveley at the R&D Advisors UK Stadium, again a 3pm kick off.