A masterclass in tactical selection of a side to beat the opponent from Manager Craig Edwards, was matched by his players determination to apply the plan on a damp night in Upminister where the Ambers have rarely got a result in the past.
Starting with four fullbacks in the line up saw Enock Ekongo & Jack Thomas shut down the right with Ola Williams and Chevron Maclean doing the same on the left saw the Urchins’ fullbacks taking root in their own half, unable to provide the home side with any width. This did lead to a lot of midfield action, where Amadou Kassarate stood strong, looking to release Taylor Miles & Joe Re to create Ambers attacks. The dangerous Liam Nash was well marshalled by Tom Gardiner & Adam Crowther and on the occasions he did have opportunities they were rushed & wide. Keeper George Marsh did have the away support holding their breath when he suddenly decided to dribble his way out of a Hornchurch press, but the event passed without damage. The Ambers themselves created little in the final third during the first half, centrally Ken Charles threatened with his pace, but was crowded out by the Hornchurch defence.
As the home side, spurred on by supporters, Hornchurch had more of the play in the first half but failed to break down Cheshunt, 0-0 at half time suited Cheshunt. The Ambers made their move coming out for the second half with Mo Camara replacing Chevron Maclean and playing centrally up top, with Ken Charles playing off him at inside left, Ola Williams stepped into the space vacated by Maclean and saw plenty of action linking up with Charles. On the right side Jack Thomas was venturing beyond the Hornchurch right back released by passes from Miles & Re turning the home defence around regularly.
Ken Charles fast feet & speed started to torment the Hornchurch right back, taking him to the bye line & then rounding him to play low crosses into the box, one of which reached Thomas who shot over with the goal at his mercy. The game started to open up more as both sides went for the win. Zack Newton came on to provide service from the right, and with both full backs getting beaten Hornchurch were having to scramble & Cheshunt looked the more likely to break the deadlock. A fine save from George Marsh tipping a Nash shot around the post was matched by former Amber keeper Joe Wright in the Urchins goal when Joe Re wriggled free to shoot low to the keepers right
….corner to Cheshunt….The resulting scramble saw the Ambers have a strong appeal for hand ball, but a corner on the opposite side given. Centre halves MacKenzie & Crowther added their height to Mo Camara’s presence and with Hornchurch defenders fully occupied Taylor Miles found a testing delivery, Amadou Kassarate powered into space towards the near post and placed a text book header back the way it had come into the top corner, just reward for the way the Ambers had managed their opposition & the match.
Hornchurch bought on FA Trophy hero Sam Ruff, in the latter stages and did create half chances, but Cheshunt held firm for a well thought out & well fought three points.