Late Dulwich double sends Hornchurch out
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Hornchurch 2 Dulwich Hamlet 3
Hornchurch conceded two goals in the last six minutes to bow out of the Ryman League Cup at Bridge Avenue last night.
Jimmy McFarlane’s men looked on course for a semi-final date with Tonbridge Angels, as goals from Kenzer Lee and Tobi Coker put them 2-1 up against Premier Division outfit Dulwich.
But the visitors turned the tie on its head in the closing stages to send the home side tumbling out and progress to the last four.
McFarlane made a number of changes to his usual line-up, with Rob Budd making his debut in goal in place of Sam Mott, while leading scorer Leon McKenzie was rested and Usman Adeniji was cup-tied.
On a mild night, there were few scoring opportunities in the first 15 minutes, with only a Teddy Nesbitt free-kick causing any danger.
Elliot Styles was given a shooting chance following good work by Abs Thompson, but put his effort high over the bar.
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And Jed Chouman went close when he moved onto a Thompson cross, only to scoop his shot over the bar.
Dulwich had a good opportunity to open the scoring when Ibra Sekajja was given too much room, but Budd saved well, turning the ball around the post for a corner.
Styles headed firmly away when the ball was sent into the goalmouth and Thompson made a long solo run through the middle of the pitch, with Preston Edwards doing well to keep his shot out.
Hornchurch took the lead on 38 minutes after Thompson won a corner and Nesbitt delivered to the far post where the ball was only partially cleared and Lee fired home from close range.
Coker almost added a second three minutes later, but his shot was wide of the target, and Edwards saved Dulwich from going further behind when he ran out of goal to kick clear from Chouman, who had broken through the visiting defence.
Hamlet drew level in stoppage time when Sekajja took advantage of some slack defending to fire home, although there appeared to be a clear handball offence in the build up.
Two minutes into the second half, Panuche Camara was well placed in front of Budd’s goal but he put his shot over the bar.
At the other end Chouman appeared to be brought down inside the area, but play continued, and the ball was turned out for a corner which Nesbitt delivered for Nathan Cooper to head over.
Thompson opened up the Dulwich defence on the right on the hour and his cross reached Coker, but his shot was directed too close to Edwards, who saved comfortably, turning the ball around the post.
Coker made amends on 64 minutes, though, when he ran on to a long ball from Ross Wall and weaved his way past two defenders before firing hard into the net to put Hornchurch back in front.
Dulwich then made two substitutions and began to come more into the game as an attacking force.
McFarlane also made a change, with James Morrish replacing Coker, and the newcomer had an excellent opportunity to put Hornchurch further ahead when he found himself in front of goal from a Thompson cross, but put his shot wide of the target.
Dulwich, with Gavin Tomlin and Ashley Carew transforming their attack, drew level after Styles conceded a free kick in their half and there was a short delay whilst he was booked for appearing to kick the ball away.
The set-piece was played along the right wing and Tomlin was ideally placed to turn the centre into the net to level the score.
Two minutes from time Dulwich snatched victory when Carew’s free-kick eluded everyone and ended up in the net, leaving Urchins to wonder what might have been ahead of their return to Ryman North action against Soham Town Rangers on Saturday.
Hornchurch: Budd, Cohen (Coley 90), Bentley, Lee, Cooper, Chouman, Styles, Wall, Coker (Morrish 70), Thompson (Joseph 81), Nesbitt. Unused subs: Da Cruz, Hussain.