A Bridge too far as Urchins lose out on return home

George Purcell netted again for Hornchurch (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

George Purcell netted again for Hornchurch (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Hornchurch fail to halt winless run

AFC Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

AFC Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Hornchurch’s return to Bridge Avenue failed to halt their winless run in the Ryman Premier but only after they delivered an excellent performance against Margate.

The visitors ran out 2-0 winners thanks to second half goals from Lewis Taylor and Jason Prior but Jimmy McFarlane’s men were brilliant throughout and would have got at least point had they not faced an inspired Nikki Bull in the Margate goal.

Hornchurch started the game with a fantastic tempo and the team pressing was evident from the first minute.

They came closest first too when Tom Davis whipped the ball in and it was knocked back to Tobi Joseph.

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The forward sliced his shot well away from goal but Junior Luke picked up the loose ball and his cross nearly created an opener before Margate cleared for a corner.

The next moment of pressure from Davis and Joseph forced another opportunity, this time for the former but he sliced well wide when in a great position for the hosts.

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Margate did have their moments and should have tested Sam Mott with 26 minutes gone but Zac Attwood side footed past the post from close range.

The hosts were closest next as Chris Bourne intercepted a stray pass, played a one-two with George Purcell but Bull clawed his shot away.

Taylor sliced way over the bar for Margate shortly afterwards before Frankie Curley came the closest of either side in the first period.

Curley showed great improvisation to flick the ball up and hook it over his shoulder towards the bottom corner.

However, not for the first time in the half, Hornchurch were thwarted by Bull as he produced an excellent save to tip the ball away.

Margate started the second half with better intent but an excellent block by Elliot Styles and Curley prevented Ryan Moss a strike at goal.

The visitors came closest again with 64 minutes played when Jack Bennett dinked the ball to the back post but Attwood headed against the bar.

But the took the lead two minutes later though and it was in unfortunate circumstances for Hornchurch as Curley had dealt with Charlie Allen’s run into the box but a clearance from Omar Beckles smashed into the Margate man and fell perfectly for Taylor to fire into the net.

It was harsh on the hosts but it could have been two had Sam Mott not blocked substitute Prior’s low strike before Beckles cleared.

Junior Dadson was introduced by McFarlane and immediately forced Bull into another save as the hosts started to pile the pressure on again.

But despite Hornchurch pushing for an equaliser, Margate grabbed the vital second a minute before full time.

Prior worked some space on the edge and curled it brilliantly into the bottom corner to consign the hosts to another unjust defeat and leave them bottom of the table.

Hornchurch: Mott, Starkey, Bentley, Styles, Beckles, Curley, Luke (Homans 70), Davis, Joseph (Marshall-Katung 79), Purcell, Bourne (Dadson 73).

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