Grim exit for Hornchurch

Trophy trip ends in 4-0 defeat

Hornchurch saw their FA Trophy run come to an end after a 4-0 defeat at Conference Premier side Grimsby Town.

Urchins travelled to Blundell Park in confident mood, sitting top of the Ryman Premier Division with 11 away wins from 13 matches played.

But the Mariners had put together a 10-match unbeaten league run of their own and took the lead after only 12 minutes when Shaun Pearson headed home from a corner.

Hornchurch went close when Simon Glover picked out Michael Spencer, who teed up Lewis Smith, but his shot was wide of the target.

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Grimsby doubled their lead on the half hour when Gary Silk’s long ball found Andi Thanoj, who found Anthony Elding to score.

Spencer was twice denied by James McKeown, who also denied Tommy Black, but Urchins fell further behind on the stroke of half-time when Silk set up Elding for his second.

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Jimmy McFarlane’s men went close to a reply immediately after the restart as Rickie Hayles sent Spencer through to crash a shot against the upright.

And McKeown pushed a Smith shot behind, before Black’s deflected effort flew just wide.

Grimsby grabbed their fourth goal with 19 minutes remaining, though, when Conor Townsend cut in from the left and netted with a fine low shot.

And Hornchurch had late hopes of a consolation foiled as Aaron Gayle fired a good chance over when well placed.

Urchins were replaced at the top of the Ryman Premier table, meanwhile, as Billericay’s 2-0 win over Wingate saw them move into pole position.

Romford’s Ryman One North clash at Ilford fell victim to a frozen pitch at Cricklefield Stadium.

And Boro will hope for better as they look to end a three-game losing streak at Maldon tomorrow.

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