Bostik North: Canvey 2 Hornchurch 0
PUBLISHED: 17:06 09 December 2017
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Hornchurch saw their lead at the top of the table cut to five points after their seven-match unbeaten run came to an end on Canvey Island.
Urchins had won six of their last seven matches, all with clean sheets, and drawn 2-2 at Tilbury in the other fixture in that spell.
And Jimmy McFarlane had Sam Mott back in goal, but the home side had the better of the opening exchanges, winning an early corner that Brad Warner cleared.
Warner had a shot saved at the other end by Ashlee Jones, after cutting inside, before Canvey opened the scoring on the quarter-hour mark through Mitchell Gilbey, after some good work on the right.
And Urchins captain Elliot Styles had his name taken four minutes later and Leon McKenzie volleyed a good chance straight at Jones on 21 minutes.
Warner became the second Hornchurch player to be shown a yellow card, before Mathias Fanimo dragged a shot wide on 25 minutes.
The hosts made a change nine minutes before the break as Elliot Warren replaced Jerome Sobers and Urchins saw Warner and George Purcell have chances late in the half, but neither seriously troubled Jones.
Warner also sent an attempt over the crossbar in the final minute of the first half as Canvey took their slender lead to the dressing room.
Olumide Oluwatimilehin fired wide from long-range soon after the restart, but Mott was called upon to make a fine save on 48 minutes.
And the Urchins keeper came to his side’s rescue just before the hour when saving a Canvey penalty, after Kenzer Lee had been booked for conceding the spot-kick.
Gilbey headed wide for the Gulls on 62 minutes, as they looked to make amends for their penalty miss, and Jay Porter was the fourth Hornchurch player to be cautioned midway through the second half.
McFarlane made a double change with 20 minutes left, sending Tobi Joseph and Theo Fairweather-Johnson on for Fanimo and Purcell.
But Canvey doubled their lead on 73 minutes as Urchins lost possession in midfield and Ryan Charles fired home to leave the visitors with a mountain to climb in the final quarter of an hour.
Lee made way for Nathan Livings with 10 minutes remaining and Urchins saw McKenzie put a good chance over the bar as normal time drew to a close.
McFarlane’s men return to Bridge Avenue to host Barking, who are now unbeaten in 12 league matches after beating Maldon 2-1 at Mayesbrook Park, on Tuesday.
Hornchurch: Mott, Bentley, Porter, Lee (Livings 80), Cooper, Oluwatimilehin, Fanimo (Joseph 70), Styles, McKenzie, Purcell (Fairweather-Johnson 70), Warner. Unused subs: Hursit, Chouman.