Hornchurch play-off hopes hit
20:06 21 April 2014
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Ryman Premier: Canvey 1 Hornchurch 1
Chris Bourne’s last-gasp goal rescued Hornchurch from defeat after four players were sent off in a feisty Essex derby at Park Lane.
Canvey’s Jason Hallett and Joseph Carter saw red along with Hornchurch duo Frankie Curley and Stefan Payne in two separate incidents in the first half.
But a point was not enough to keep Jimmy McFarlane’s men in a Ryman Premier Division play-off place as results elsewhere went against them.
And their hopes of promotion are no longer in their own hands, with just one match remaining in the regular season next Saturday.
Urchins had the first sight of goal after a cagey opening as Danny Phillips dragged a shot wide from Joey May’s pass on 16 minutes.
Jay Curren sent a snapshot wide of the mark for Canvey five minutes later, while George Purcell was similarly off-target for the visitors soon after.
Payne was booked for a late tackle on Nick Humphrey on 24 minutes, but Urchins went close when Ricky Hayles met May’s free kick with a header which was saved by Josh Vickers.
Canvey broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark, though, as Rob Bartley volleyed home from a half-cleared corner, but both sides were reduced to 10 men five minutes later as Curley and Hallett were dismissed following a clash and Purcell was also booked.
Ashley Dumas fired over an inviting goal following a poor clearance by Inigo Echepare on 39 minutes, before Bartley was cautioned for handball.
And another altercation in first-half stoppage time led to a red card for Canvey’s Carter and a second yellow card for Payne, who was also dismissed to leave both sides down to nine men for the second half.
Purcell’s shot on the turn was saved by Vickers on 52 minutes, before Martin Tuohy was sent on for Phillips.
Curran volleyed over from 20 yards for Canvey on the hour, before Urchins boss McFarlane made a double change midway through the second half.
Leigh Bremner saw a header from Dave Rainford’s free-kick saved by Vickers, who also thwarted Purcell with a good save on 76 minutes as Urchins struggled to find an end product despite dominating.
Bartley cleared off the line to deny Purcell an equaliser, with Tuohy’s follow-up effort ruled out for offside.
And Rainford headed a great chance over before having his name taken by the referee six minutes from time.
But Hornchurch got their reward with time almost up as Bourne found the back of the net, after a Purcell shot was handled, although their joy was shortlived as they soon learned they had dropped out of the play-off places with only one game left.
They host Met Police at Bridge Avenue on Saturday, but now need to rely on Lowestoft or Dulwich dropping points above them to keep their promotion dream alive.
Canvey: Vickers, Carter, Dumas, Game, Bartley, Humphrey, Curran, Jones (Hawes 84), Hallett, Sands (Webb 69), Sellears. Unused subs: Alaile, Strickland, Chatting.
Hornchurch: Echepare, Rainford, Starkey (Bourne 67), Styles, Hayles, Curley, Eyong (Bremner 67), May, Payne, Purcell, Phillips (Tuohy 59). Unused subs: Coyne, Varnier.