Walthamstow run in the FA Cup came to an end today with defeat against Step-3 Hornchurch. Two first-half goals were enough for the Urchins despite a resilient effort from the Stags.
It was a difficult start to the game as Hornchurch broke the deadlock in the 3rd-minute. A free-kick was won on the edge of the box and fired past Connor Sansom by Lewis Spence. Although they conceded, Walthamstow tried to come forward. Connor Scully fought this way through the defence but his cross was blocked before he latched onto a through ball but his cross into Jon Clements but the keeper collected well. Michael Osei made a good run and created some space but his shot was comfortable for the keeper.
Despite some pressure from Stow, it was Hornchurch who got the second goal. A low cross was met by Ellis Brown at the far post with the forward tapping in from close range. The visitors had another chance but a cross was held by Sansom before the Stags found another foothold in the game. A one-two between Callum Ibe and Clements saw Ibe get into a good position but his shot was caught on the line. Captain Reece Conway had Stow’s best chance of the first-half as he rattled a header against the crossbar before Scully controlled the ball well but he slipped as he went to unleash a shot and it was comfortable once again for Joseph Wright.
There was a game-changing moment and the game became an uphill battle for Stow as they were reduced to 10-men. Defender Vinny Murphy was dismissed after he misjudged the flight of the ball with a header and it made contact with his hand. The resulting free-kick led to a corner as it was deflected off the wall before nothing came from the corner. Right before the half-time whistle, a free-kick from Scully was too strong and over everyone before the attacking-midfielder pulled a ball back on the touchline but it was cleared by the visitors.
Hornchurch had the first opportunity of the second-half after a shot was fired across the face of goal but it was Walthamstow who dominated. Charncey Dash fired a shot wide before Ibe controlled the ball well but his shot was well caught.
The visitors still threatened in the second-half. A shot was blocked on the line before Lewis Spence shot just wide from the edge of the box. As the game reached the last 15, another shot from Hornchurch just over. Stow tried to create some space and string a few passes together but it was difficult as the Urchins sat behind the ball for large parts of the second-half. As the game approached the final ten, Stow found a foothold in the game as they looked to get a goal back. Dash did well to keep hold of the ball inside the Hornchurch box with a couple of defenders around him but his shot was straight at the keeper. A free-kick was also fired into the box but the keeper caught well.
In added time, a powerful shot from Rueben Bartlett-Antwi was straight into the chest of Wright before another shot flashed across the face of goal for Hornchurch right at the end.