Swifts exit for Urchins

Hornchurch upset in Essex Senior Cup

Urchins were the victims of another cup upset as they exited the Essex Senior Cup on Tuesday.

Already beaten by lower-league opposition in three knockout competitions this season, Jimmy McFarlane’s men bowed out to another in the form of Ryman One North Swifts.

They will now focus on their Ryman Premier Division play-off bid, hosting Horsham tomorrow (Saturday) and Margate on Tuesday in the first of six home games in 24 days.

Urchins have slipped to ninth, but are just three points behind Cray, in fifth, with two games in hand.

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An injury-hit squad came under early pressure, but could have taken the lead when Lewis Smith raced on to Frankie Curley’s pass and rounded Ollie Morris-Sanders, only for Nathan Smith to block his goalbound effort.

Darren Behcet needed treatment at the other end after colliding with captain Elliot Styles and Heybridge’s Luke Callander.

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And the hosts took the lead soon after when a left-wing cross reached Ricky Griggs, who tapped gleefully home.

Urchins had the better of the second half without creating many clear-cut chances.

Smith fired inches wide and then just over before he was denied by a superb Morris-Sanders save.

And Andy Tomlinson saw his free-kick tipped over as Hornchurch grew more frustrated.

Behcet saved well from Griggs, before Rikki Burbridge was sent on for a cameo appearance, having rejoined the club late last week.

Morris-Sanders somehow kept out Smith’s close range effort before Swifts made sure in injury time as Chris Bryan hammered a free-kick home.

Hornchurch: Behcet, Fletcher, Coyne, Styles, Hayles (Williams 76), Curley, Eyong, McSweeney, Tuohy (Burbridge 85), Smith, Ramkin (Tomlinson 46).

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