FEMI Akinwande fired Hornchurch to a 1-0 win against Cheshunt in Daryl McMahon’s first game as manager.

The victory saw the Urchins move nine points clear of second-placed Chatham Town in the Isthmian League Premier Division title race with two games in hand.

And McMahon relished his return to the dug-out.

“I really enjoyed it,” said the former Dagenham & Redbridge boss.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been manager in a dug out and I enjoyed that and the performance as well.

“The boys have been great over the last month.

“They’ve lost their manager and some good players through injury but they’ve really battled.

“It was four away games in a row as well which is tough, but it’s three wins on the bounce now which is good and I’m delighted to win.”

McMahon replaced Steve Morison in charge of the Bridge Avenue club.

And the Irishman felt Hornchurch fully deserved their latest victory.

“I thought we were pretty dominant for the majority of the game,” he added.

“The last 10 minutes when it was only a 1-0 lead it was a little bit anxious and Cheshunt threw more bodies forward to make it more difficult, but I thought we defended our box again really, really well.

“I can’t remember Dion [Curtis Henry] having a save to make and I thought we managed the game really, really well.”

Akinwande’s goal came 10 minutes into the second half after McMahon had urged his side to go on the front foot during his team-talk at the break.

“I said to be aggressive in the final third,” explained McMahon.

“I thought we made too many passes and I wanted us to be more exciting, that’s the word I would use.

“The second half we could’ve scored three or four and we missed some big chances but it was great to create them.”

Akinwande made the most of the opportunity coming his way as he swept home a fine left-footed shot following an inviting left wing cross from Sean Scannell.

And it was a memorable afternoon for Akinwande who was being watched by members of his family.

“It was a tough game really and they stayed in the game so we had to keep on grinding them down,” said Akinwande.

“Thankfully my chance came and I took it.

“Overall I thought we deserved to win and today my mum, my daughter and my two brothers were here so it meant a lot scoring.

“It was an amazing feeling.”

But Hornchurch are now switching their sights to Saturday’s trip to ninth-placed Dulwich Hamlet.

“It will be a great game and we’ve heard it’s sold out,” said Akinwande.

“I think the boys thrive on big occasions and for us it’s just about ticking off another game.”

However, boss McMahon knows this weekend’s clash will be stern test for his side.

“It’s a tough one,” said McMahon.

“They’re in really good form now. I think they built a whole new team at the start of the season and they’re coming into their own now.”