Hornchurch tumble out of FA Trophy
PUBLISHED: 08:21 09 October 2016 | UPDATED: 08:21 09 October 2016
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Hornchurch 2 Ashford Town (Middx) 3
Hornchurch were sent crashing out of the FA Trophy at the first hurdle on a disappointing day at Bridge Avenue.
Injury-hit Urchins went into their tie on the back of a morale-boosting midweek win at Ryman North rivals Norwich United, while their under-18s had beaten Tilbury 4-0 in the FA Youth Cup also.
But the hosts were left chasing the game after conceding twice in the first half and second-half replies from Leon McKenzie and Jed Chouman were not enough as Ashford Town took the £2,500 prize money on offer and booked a trip to Tonbridge Angels in the next round.
Joe Bowles started in goal in the absence of Sam Mott and Urchins saw Ayrton Coley send an early chance wide on 13 minutes.
The visitors opened the scoring on 13 minutes, though, as Mark Bitmead’s free-kick beat Bowles and, after McKenzie missed the target, it was 2-0 on the half-hour mark as Max Herbert found space in the box to beat the Urchins keeper.
Bitmead might have made it 3-0 just three minutes later but scuffed his effort and Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane was forced into a change just before the break as Abs Thompson went off injured to be replaced by James Morrish.
Dave Collis fired just wide at the end of a good move by the hosts as a frustrating first half drew to a close, with JJ Da Cruz coming on for Will King for the second half.
And Urchins hit back soon after the restart when David Knight was fouled in the box by visiting keeper Kavanagh Keadell and a penalty was awarded.
The Hornchurch striker picked himself up to take the spot-kick, but saw it saved by Keadell, before McKenzie followed up to convert the rebound.
Knight was booked just before the hour mark and made way for young striker Jakub Berkowitz with 19 minutes remaining, with Da Cruz heading a Morrish cross over the crossbar soon after.
But Ashford went 3-1 up on 80 minutes when a Bitmead free-kick was spilled by Bowles and Max Webb pounced to score for the Tangerines.
And although Chouman replied with a drilled 20-yard finish from a corner five minutes later, Urchins could not force an equaliser in the time that remaining and bowed out.
Their midweek league meeting with VCD Athletic has been postponed, as their rivals have an FA Trophy replay with greenwich Borough, so Urchins will return to action at Soham Town Rangers next Saturday.
Hornchurch: Bowles, King (Da Cruz 46), Chouman, Styles, Goodacre, Thompson (Morrish 43), Collis, McKenzie, Knight (Berkowitz 71), Coley. Unused sub: Hursit.