Hornchurch and Romford defeated
Disappointing night for rivals
Hornchurch 0 Hastings United 1
Urchins were unable to close the gap at the top of the Ryman Premier Division table last night after falling to this defeat.
Hastings player-manager Sean Ray headed home 20 minutes from time to clinch a surprise victory for his lowly side.
Hornchurch had rarely been troubled, but the form of visiting keeper Matt Armstrong-Ford kept the visitors in the tie.
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Worryingly for the hosts, Rickie Hayles and Jonathan Hunt both went off with knocks ahead of their trip to Hendon on Saturday.
Jimmy McFarlane’s men could have gone ahead inside four minutes when Armstrong-Ford blocked two efforts on goal, and Leon McKenzie headed wide from Hunt’s free-kick.
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Hastings were awarded a penalty against the run of play for handball, but skipper Lee Carey saw his spot-kick smack the crossbar.
McKenzie and Hunt went close again for Hornchurch, but found Armstrong-Ford in fine form as they went in search of an equaliser.
And despite plenty of late pressure during five minutes of stoppage time, McFarlane’s side slipped to their eighth defeat of the season to remain three points adrift of Billericay with only one game in hand.
Hornchurch: Woolley, Spencer, Anderson, Styles, Hayles (Eyong 21), Tomlinson (Thompson 86), Hunt, Curley, Tuohy, McKenzie, Orilonishe.
Brentwood 4 Romford 2
Boro conceded three times in 13 minutes on their way to derby defeat at the Brentwood Arena.
Steve Butterworth put the hosts ahead in the 17th minute, with Danny Dafter and Darren Blewitt making it 3-0 by the half-hour mark.
Paul Martin’s men made a bright start to the second half, but fell further behind before the hour when Neil Cousins found himself in the clear to place his shot into the back of Elliott Anderson’s net.
Boro pulled a goal back on 72 minutes when substitute Matt Toms drove home from outside the box.
And fellow replacement Joe Oates struck in similar fashion with seven minutes remaining.
But despite pushing forward in the closing stages the visitors could not make any further inroads, as Blues looked dangerous on the break.
Romford: Anderson, Mackin, Seymour, J Barry, Ishmail (Toms 63), Clayton (Kavanagh 80), Bingham, Odedoyin, Smith, Reynolds, Dicks (Oates 63).