FA Cup exit for Hornchurch, Romford snatch point
Mixed fortunes for local clubs
Below-par Hornchurch bowed out of the FA Cup after a 3-1 defeat at Conference South rivals Billericay at the weekend.
But Romford snatched a last-gasp point at Ryman Division One rivals Needham Market in a 2-2 draw.
Urchins fell behind after only 12 minutes at New Lodge when Sam Lechmere crossed for Alex Osborn to convert.
And tempers boiled over just before the half hour mark when Luke I’Anson reacted to a challenge from Hornchurch captain Frankie Curley.
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Billericay’s Chris Wild also got involved, before yellow cards were brandished by the referee.
Lewis Smith went close to an equaliser after the restart but Blues doubled their lead midway through the second half when Lechmere fired through a crowd.
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And Lechmere made it 3-0 from a hotly disputed indirect free-kick, two minutes from time.
Smith raced away to fire home his fourth goal of the season as some consolation, but it made little difference on a disappointing day.
Romford, meanwhile, struck in the sixth minute of injury time to earn a share of the spoils in Suffolk.
Needham Market took the lead on 27 minutes when Sam Newson fired home from the penalty spot.
And Newson struck again soon after, rounding Atu Ngoy before slotting home to make it 2-0.
Boro hit back eight minutes before the break, though, when Lewis Francis netted from a free-kick.
But captain Jack Barry missed a good chance to level on the stroke of half-time.
The home side were awarded a second penalty after the restart, but Newson fired wide of the post as Romford earned a reprieve.
And the visitors made the most of it in the closing stages as Ngoy came forward for a corner and found Nick Reynolds, whose effort was handled.
And Francis sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot to launch the Romford celebrations for the long trip home.