Makeshift Hornchurch lose out to Chelmsford after Cook double
Blue Square Bet South: AFC Hornchurch 0 Chelmsford City 2
A depleted Hornchurch were undone by an Anthony Cook double as they slipped to defeat at home to Essex rivals Chelmsford.
Urchins boss Jimmy McFarlane was forced into three changes in the starting line-up due to injuries and unavailabilites, which has tested his squad to the limit.
Joey May was recalled from a loan at London Bari and Andy Tomlinson in a similar arrangement from Heybridge Swifts.
And McFarlane’s woes increased with all three substitutes being made as a result of injuries.
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May fired the first effort of the match wide from 25 yards out with three minutes on the clock before Dagenham & Redbridge loanee Rob Edmans did exactly the same up the other end.
Edmans was the main danger all night for the Urchins backline with the makeshift centre half pairing of Simon Glover and captain Frankie Curley.
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Hornchurch goalkeeper Joe Woolley pushed an Edmans shot wide, while the same player saw a header fall wide of the post.
But the hosts resistance ended when they failed to fully clear a long throw in from Justin Miller and Cook supplied a finish from inside the area.
Wayne Gray hobbled off with injury at the break to be replaced by Martin Tuohy but within six minutes of the second period the Clarets effectively ended the encounter.
Another Miller throw in wasn’t dealt with and Cook had the simple task of finishing from close range.
Injuries to Sam Cutler and James Love forced McFarlane to bring on Tomlinson and Elliot Styles as the game somewhat petered out.
The Urchins had more of the possession as Chelmsford sat back, and Clarets sub Craig Calver forced a good save out of Woolley after he drove in from the right wing and unleashed a curling effort.
AFC Hornchurch: Woolley, Love (Styles), Daniel, Glover, Curley, Cutler (Tomlinson 67), May, McKoy, McKenzie, Smith, Gray (Tuohy 46).
Substitute not used: Bowditch.