The Urchins’ 14 game unbeaten league run came to an abrupt halt at the hands of in-form Thurrock as Hornchurch went down 2-0 at Ship Lane.
THURROCK 2 HORNCHURCH 0
TFC – Mason, Morgan (Goode 12) (George Winn 90+3) , Sutton, Halle ©, Inyemah, Dunn, Clark, Poole (Ronnie Winn 51), Stimson, Christou, Cowley
Subs – Wheatley, Cook
HFC – Mott, Bentley, Da Cruz, Lee, Cooper, Chouman, Thompson (Coley 77), Styles © (Joseph 59), McKenzie, Wall, Luke
Subs: May, Morrish, Hussain
Officials – Jason Richardson with Ahmad Rafique and Jonathan Was
Scorers – Christou 31 – Clark 63p
Bookings – Luke 10 (H) – Halle 10 (T) – Christou 13 (T) – Goode 17 (T) – McKenzie 23 (H)
Duration 49.00 + 49.00
THURROCK 2 HORNCHURCH 0
Hornchurch’s unbeaten run came to an end at Thurrock in the first match of 2017.
Two changes from the team that started at Brentwood – Elliot Styles and Junior Luke came in for Gary Cohen and Joey May.
Hornchurch got off to a lively start, with Leon McKenzie firing into the side netting from a narrow angle.
Thurrock replied, forcing a corner, with Alex Bentley playing the ball out for a second corner inside thirty seconds.
Ross Wall then dispossessed Mark Onyemah, but Bobby Mason saved well.
Junior Luke and Richard Halle were both booked following an incident on the far side of the ground, and Joe Christou then became the next player to go into the book three minutes later, when he brought down Junior Luke in full flight.
. He was followed by James Goode, who had only just replaced Reece Morgan, again for a foul on Luke, who once again was speeding down the left wing.
On 17 minutes Elliot Styles fired the ball hard into the net from a corner, but the goal was disallowed for offside against another Hornchurch player.
Leon McKenzie became the fifth player to be shown a yellow card, and we expected more to follow, but this proved to be the final booking of the match.
Thurrock took the lead on 31 minutes when David Cowley centred from the left, and Joe Christou volleyed home from a narrow angle.
A Jed Chouman free kick was deflected for a corner as Hornchurch tried hard to get back on level terms, but Thurrock began to get on top and could have increased their lead in the final ten minutes of the half, when Abs Thompson conceded a free kick ten yards out, but the shot was high and wide.
Hornchurch started the second half confidently, and McKenzie put a shot narrowly wide following a Thompson run and cross from the right.
Five minutes later Junior Luke broke through but directed his shot a fraction too high and the ball skimmed the bar.
Mason saved well from a Chouman free kick, and Tobi Joseph then came on in place of Elliot Styles.
But two minutes later Nathan Cooper conceded a penalty and Jordan Clark made it two nil from the spot kick, and from then on Thurrock took control and did not look like losing.
Hornchurch still created chances, with Mason saving from Thompson and then from McKenzie, but Thurrock were in control of the midfield, and had the better of the territorial play.
Ayrton Coley came on for Thompson, but apart from two good runs by Tobi Joseph, the home defence looked in command whenever Hornchurch came forward.