Guy punishes sloppy Hornchurch

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane is without Purcell for six matches (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane is without Purcell for six matches (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Ryman Premier: Grays 1 Hornchurch 0

Hornchurch’s search for a first win of the season continued on Bank Holiday Monday against local rivals Grays as a second-half goal from Jamie Guy consigned them to another away defeat at Mill Field.

In a close fought match, Guy scored the only goal of the game to punish Urchins’ sloppy finishing and continue their winless start to the new campaign.

Both sides had early opportunities but Hornchurch’s Junior Luke headed over before Guy clipped the bar with Sam Mott beaten.

The hosts were forced into a substitution after 15 minutes and they introduced ex-Premier League midfielder Glen Little, who nearly had an immediate effect.

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Little was afforded too much space outside Hornchurch’s area and picked out Joao Carlos but Mott was able to hold his weak effort.

Little did have the ball in the net after 26 minutes, though, after he pushed the referee aside to take a quick free kick but his effort was correctly ruled out and the Grays man picked up a booking for his troubles.

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That incident seemed to spark Hornchurch into life as George Purcell twice came close to making the opener.

The Urchins forward firstly spun his marker before his curled strike was deflected just wide of Conor Gough’s goal.

And then Purcell whipped the ball in, but with Luke waiting, a lack of communication meant Tobi Joseph tried to direct the ball goalwards and headed wide.

Joseph had two more chances before the half was up and really should have scored his first competitive Urchins goal nine minutes before the break.

Luke knocked the ball down for Joseph, but just six yards out, he fired well wide and a minute before half time he also headed straight at Gough from close range.

Mott made an excellent close range save from Carlos at the start of the second half before Joseph again failed to hit the target at the other end, this time from Chris Bourne’s corner.

Those opportunities boosted Hornchurch who began to press more with Purcell firing a free kick wide, although Carlos did have an effort ruled out for offside.

Purcell then had another chance to fire at goal, but choose to cut back before Joseph unluckily headed Bentley’s cross wide.

The only goal followed soon after, but against the run of play it went to the hosts as Guy backheeled the ball past Mott.

Carlos had won a debatable free kick on the edge of the box and although that was initially cleared, the ball came back into the goalmouth and, with Mott, Bentley and a Grays player tangled on the floor, the ball broke to Guy who tapped in.

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane sent on Junior Dadson, Moses Ashikodi and Elyon Marshall-Katung in a bid for an equaliser but Grays should have added a second when Little released substitute Freddie Lapapo, only for Mott to save well.

Ashikodi did have the ball in the net in the 90th minute, but it was ruled out for offside and Urchins fell to their fifth defeat in six Ryman Premier games.

Hornchurch: Mott, Homans, Bentley, Styles, Curley, Luke, Starkey, Joseph (Marshall-Katung 81), Purcell (Ashokodi 81), Bourne (Dadson 77).

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