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Hornchurch denied by late Lewes comeback

PUBLISHED: 22:04 13 August 2014 | UPDATED: 22:04 13 August 2014

Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Ryman Premier: Lewes 2 AFC Hornchurch 2

Hornchurch let a 2-0 lead slip as they were forced to share the spoils with Lewes at the Dripping Pan.

Jimmy McFarlane’s side went into the match off Saturday’s 1-0 loss to East Thurrock United, but looked like bouncing back in style after Omar Beckles and Martin Tuohy gave them a two-goal cushion in the first half.

But Nicky Wheeler pulled one back for the hosts and a minute from time the Urchins conceded a penalty, which Luke Blewden slotted past goalkeeper Sam Mott.

The Urchins got off to the perfect start with the opener on eight minutes, but it came in bizarre circumstances.

A free-kick was floated into the box and the referee blew his whistle. However, he waved played on, only for home goalkeeper Rikki Banks to place the ball down thinking another free-kick had been awarded. That wasn’t the case though and Beckles tapped in.

McFarlane was forced into an early change when Moses Ashikodi came on for Joey May after the Urchins had dealt with two dangerous free-kicks from the Sussex hosts.

But with 31 minutes on the clock Hornchurch doubled their tally when Junior Dadson’s centre was met by an onrushing Tuohy who slid the ball past Banks.

Junior Luke almost added a third from another Dadson ball in but after rounding Banks, his effort struck the post.

That was how ir remained ay the break but Tuohy went close to his second when his cross-shot struck the bar, before the hosts mounted some pressure on the Hornchurch defence.

And they gave themselves a lifeline when Urchins only half cleared a ball into the box and Wheeler was on hand to shoot past Mott.

The visiting ‘keeper was forced into action again minutes later when he kept out a mis-directed header from Beckles, but seconds after withdrawing Tuohy for Frank Griffin late on, the Urchins conceded a penalty.

And Blewden made no mistake as he beat Mott and secured a point for the Rooks as Hornchurch were left to contemplate what might have been as they head to Kingstonian on Saturday.

Hornchurch: Mott, Homans, Bentley, Styles, Beckles, Starkey, Luke, Davis, Tuohy (Griffin 88), May (Ashikodi 21), Dadson.

Unused substitutes: Marshall-Katung, Hursit, Purcell.

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