AFC HORNCHURCH 1 CRAY WANDERERS 2
With Elliot Styles missing for three matches, following his red card against Concord, Reiss Noel returned to the starting line up after injury, and Lloyd Anderson came into the squad, having signed from Hastings Utd.
The first half was lacking in goalmouth incident, though an early run by Jack Clark was stopped by an excellent tackle by James Love.
Hornchurch could have taken the lead when Joe Anderson combined with Lewis Smith to set up Michael Spencer, who miskicked and put his shot well wide of an inviting goal.
Joe Vines gave an indication of what was to eventually come when he move d up for an Alex Bentley free kick, and, unmarked, he placed his shot close to the goal.
Cray pressed forward, and a Clark won the ball inside the home half, played it on to Leigh Bremner, whose cross went across the face of the goal.
Hornchurch missed another good chance to go ahead when Lewis Smith slotted the ball through to Leon McKenzie, but keeper Andy Walker came out and Leon hit his shot wide of the near post.
Joe Anderson went close with a fine shot which went inches over the bar after a solo run through the middle.
Frankie Curley, Simon Glover and Lewis Smith then combined to send James Love away on the right but Bentley came back quickly to tackle and clear the danger.
Vines headed an Anderson free kick out for a corner, but Anderson played the ball short to Smith and Cray were quick to clear.
Joe Woolley had little to do but was in action when he rose high to hold a well flighted corner by Lewis Perkins.
A McKenzie – Smith move was thwarted by Chris Saunders, whilst a Love – Tuohy – Smith move ended with keeper Walker punching clear.
The second half started with two Cray corners, cleared by Rickie Hayles and Frankie Curley respectively, whilst a long range shot from Saunders was well held by Woolley.
Hornchurch began to press forward, and a Smith shot was charged down, and a Tuohy cross went begging when McKenzie could not reach the ball.
Fola Orilonishe came on, shortly to be followed by Jon Hunt, and the match took on a different pattern, though not before Woolley had to deal with another long range shot from Saunders, tipping the ball over the bar for a corner, which Clark sent over and Noel cleared.
Walker was called into action to make a good save from a goal bound shot from Tuohy, and a quick break by Cray ended when Tommy Whitnell hit his shot well wide of the goal.
Cray took the lead when Hayles lost possession in midfield, and LEIGH BREMNER ran forward, unchallenged, to fire past Woolley.
The lead last less then two minutes, when Fola took a short pass from Smith, made ground on the left wing, and crossed for MARTIN TUOHY to flick home.
Walker made an excellent save from Fola following a good build up involving Jon Hunt and Spencer, and it was Fola again who opened up the defence when he raced down the left, and pulled the ball back to Hunt, and thence to Smith, whose goal bound shot was saved brilliantly by Walker, to deflected the ball around for a corner. Hunt played the corner short, but Vines headed away the resulting cross from Love.
Hornchurch were denied a penalty when Fola was cut down in full flight, and just a minute later it was Lewis Smith’s turn to be tripped up, and once again the referee allowed play to continue.
Tambeson Eyong came on for McKenzie, and quickly won a free kick. Hunt floated the ball into the area, and a loud appeal for hand ball was ignored by the referee, who had not had the best of games.
Hayles tackled Sam Long to concede a corner, which led to a second corner, and as Hornchurch continued to press forward, they were caught lacking at the back when JOE VINES converted a low cross from the right, to ensure that all three points went back to Kent.