Hornchurch return empty-handed

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Conference South: Dorchester 3 Hornchurch 1

Hornchurch remain outside the relegation zone on goal difference only after defeat in Dorset last night.

Urchins travelled south for the rearranged fixture, days after an 82nd-minute goal had consigned them to defeat at Eastleigh.

And they were forced to wear Dorchester’s yellow and blue reserve kit, as their own colours clashed with the home side.

Chris Bourne had an early shot pushed out before Dorchester took an eighth-minute lead thhough Charlie Clough’s looping header.

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And Urchins saw Elliot Styles and Bourne go close midway through the first half as the scoreline remained unchanged.

The visitors got back on terms just before the hour mark when defender Reiss Noel headed home from a free kick for his first goal of the campaign.

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But Hornchurch’s joy was shortlived as Dorchester regained the lead just four minutes later thanks to a cheeky backheeled finish from Kieffer Moore.

Urchins boss Jimmy McFarlane sent Kieron St Aimie on for Billy Coyne with just under 20 minutes remaining, hoping the big striker might produce more late heroics.

St Aimie had struck a last-minute winner against Bromley on Bank Holiday Monday, but the visitors saw a Styles effort deflected wide.

Michael Spencer and Wayne Gray were also sent on from the substitutes bench and Lewis Smith saw a free kick well saved before Noel blasted a chance over from a corner.

Rickie Hayles saw a late effort blocked before Moore made sure of the points for Dorchester with his second in the final minute.

Urchins remain on 41 points, level with Tonbridge, but their goal difference is now minus 16, to the Kent club’s minus 19, and they have played two games more than Angels.

McFarlane’s men face a crunch clash with basement boys Truro at Bridge Avenue on Saturday, with a trip to Sutton and home match against Hayes to end their campaign as the fight for survival looks set to go to the wire.

Hornchurch: Woolley, Coyne (St Aimie 72), Bentley, May, Noel, Hayles, Eyong (Spencer 75), Styles, Tuohy, Smith, Bourne (Gray 82).

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