The Urchins lost their first game in eight but were poor on the day and Canvey took full advantage running out 2-0 winners on a freezing cold afternoon.
CANVEY ISLAND 2 HORNCHURCH 0
Jones, Pitty, Dumas, Norman, Sobers (Warren 37), Sheehan, Merrifield, Collins ©, Sykes, Gilbey (Melaugh 88), Charles
Subs – Nesbitt, Walker, Craddock
HFC – Mott, Bentley, Porter, Lee (Livings 81), Cooper, Oluwatimilehiin, Fanimo (Joseph 74), Styles ©, McKenzie, Purcell (Fairweather-Johnson 74), Warner
Subs – Hursit, Chouman
Officials – Steven Scott with Andrew Simmonds and Liam Giles
Scorers – Gilbey 14 – Charles 75
Bookings – Styles 19 (H) – Warner 25 (H) – Merrifield 38 (CI) – Lee 60 (H) – Porter 69 (H) – Jones 86 (CI)
Duration – 47.00 + 50.00
CANVEY ISLAND 2 HORNCHURCH 0
Although Canvey’s ground is nine feet below sea level, the ball spent much of the time above sea level, after being regularly launched upfield, some ten feet or more above the heads of the forwards, and invariably being headed back promptly by the home defenders, on a day when very little went right for an off-form Hornchurch eleven.
Canvey had the better of the first ten minutes, with George Sykes winning a corner, which was cleared by Brad Warner, back helping out his defence, but for the most part the action took place in midfield.
Hornchurch had their first opportunity when Warner played a long ball out to Jay Porter, and his cross was deflected for a corner. Warner sent the ball over, and Alex Bentley played it back again to Warner, but his shot was well saved by Ashlee Jones in the home goal.
Canvey went ahead a minute later. Sam Collins moved past Lee, and crossed from the right wing, and Mitchell Gilbey was waiting to fire the ball hard into the net.
Hornchurch could have drawn level on 21 minutes when Warner sent the ball over from the left, and Ashley Jones saved from Leon McKenzie at close range.
Canvey made an enforced substitution on 38 minutes when Jerrome Sobers was replaced by Elliott Warren.
Ryan Charles opened up the Hornchurch defence with a fine run, before crossing to George Sykes, but his shot from the edge of the area was blocked by Alex Bentley.
Matthias Fanimo then made a similar run along the right flank, but his shot was wide of the target, and Fanimo was again off target when he ran on to a George Purcell centre, putting his shot high and over the bar.
As the half drew to a close, both Warner and Purcell had shots saved comfortably by Jones in the home goal.
Olumide Oluwatimilihin had the first chance of the second half, but his shot lacked direction and went wide, but it was at the other end where Sam Mott made the save of the match, from a close range drive from Frankie Merrifield, with Nathan Cooper playing the loose ball out for a corner.
Kenzer Lee conceded a penalty on 58 minutes, after Mott had saved a Collins shot. Mitchell Gilbey stepped up but Mott dived to his right and saved.
With play stagnating in midfield, and with the home defence having little difficulty in dealing with the endless stream of high balls down the middle, Hornchurch made two changes, Tobi Joseph and Theo Fairweather-Johnson replacing Fanimo and Purcell. The move proved costly, as less than sixty seconds later, Ryan Charles gained possession in midfield, and ran forward to fire home the second goal.
Canvey defended for the remainder of the match, but were rarely troubled, with the closest attempts being a McKenzie shot that went over and a Fairweather-Johnson drive that met the same fate.