Hornchurch 5-4 Maidstone United // FA Trophy Fifth Round // Match report by Ruth Tunnell // 6 February 2021
The Stones have been knocked out of the FA Trophy by Hornchurch of the Isthmian Premier League as the Urchins grabbed the winner right at the end of a high scoring match thanks to a fine finish from Liam Nash.
This was Maidstone’s first competitive game since they were beaten by Braintree Town on 19 January and Hornchurch’s league season was suspended in early November and they have since only played in a couple of friendly fixtures and the FA Trophy. But there were no significant signs of rustiness from the Urchins in the first half as they were probably the stronger of the two sides at times.
With just six minutes gone, there was an early warning for the Stones. Sam Higgins found Liam Nash who turned and dragged his shot just wide of the right post.
But Hornchurch did take the lead on 14 minutes. Maidstone didn’t deal with a low corner into the box and striker Sam Higgins was alert to scored from close range.
The Stones immediately responded though as from the kick off, the ball eventually came to Christie Pattison. Pattison pulled the ball back to Saidou Khan whose shot looked to be going well wide of the target but it took a significant deflection off Jordan Clark and went into the net.
There was then nothing to note until the 28th minute when Maidstone scored. A free-kick into the box was headed onto the bar by Scott Rendell and George Porter reacted quickly to lash in an emphatic finish.
The Stones then went close to scoring a brilliant goal. A cross field pass from Noah Chesmain reached Rendell and his volley went inches over the bar.
As the game moved towards the break, Hornchurch equalised on 41 minutes. Ravan Constable couldn’t claim a cross into the box and Nash’s effort cannoned off the bar before Ronnie Winn turned the ball into an empty net.
Moments later, Higgins crashed the ball against the bar. The Hornchurch forward then found himself in space inside the box and his low strike was saved by Constable. And with half time imminent, Nash spun inside the area but the ball went straight at Constable and he made a comfortable save.
Higgins continued to be a thorn in Maidstone’s side after the break and he put the Urchins back in front on 53 minutes. Nash sent the ball forwards and Higgins raced forward before dispatching a confident finish past Constable.
But for the second time in the match, there was an immediate equaliser from Maidstone. Hornchurch’s defence was caught napping as Maidstone raced forward and once again Porter finished well with a half volley.
Then on 65 minutes, the Urchins went back in front. Ellis Brown made a good run down the right before putting a dangerous low ball into the box where it was accidentally turned into his own net by the unfortunate Joe Ellul.
However, it wasn’t long before there was another goal and Ibz Akanbi got another Maidstone equaliser with his first touch after coming on as a substitute. Sam Corne found Justin Amaluzor who was under pressure but he managed to get a low cross into the box which Akanbi finished at the near post.
With nine minutes left, Maidstone were reduced to ten men. Joe Ellul caught substitute Charlie Stimson and was dismissed for his second bookable offense.
Then just as it looked as though the game was going to penalties, Hornchurch grabbed the winner six minutes into stoppage time. Nash beat the offside trap as a ball came over the top and he sent a delicate lob over Constable to send Hornchurch into the next round.
Hornchurch: Sam Higgins 13, 58, Ronnie Winn 40, Joe Ellul (O.G.) 65, Liam Nash 90 + 6
Maidstone United: Joe Christou 14 (O.G.) George Porter 28, 59, Scott Rendell 71
Hornchurch: 1. Joe Wright, 2. Remi Sutton, 4. Ollie Muldoon, 5. Rickie Hayles, 6. Joe Christou, 7. Ellis Brown, 8. Jordan Clark, 9. Sam Higgins, 10. Liam Nash, 11. Ronnie Winn (14. Lewwis Spence 74), 16. Charlie Ruff (12. Charlie Stimson 74). Subs not used: 17. Zak Hassan, 13. Finley Thackway.
Maidstone United: 16. Ravan Constable, 2. Gavin Hoyte, 17. Joe Ellul, 3. Jaydn Mundle-Smith, 12. Noah Chesmain (11. Justin Amaluzor 53), 5. Charlie Seaman, 8. Sam Corne (4. Kreshnic Krasniqi 74), 18. Saidou Khan, 15. Christie Pattison (20. Ibz Akanbi 70), 7. George Porter, 9. Scott Rendell. Subs not used: 1. Chris Lewington, 10. Ibrahim Olutade, 14. Zihni Temelci, 19. Dominic Odusanya.