Hard-working Urchins go down to Lewes

PUBLISHED: 09:04 18 March 2015

AFC Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

AFC Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

Ryman Premier: AFC Hornchurch 0 Lewes 1

A freak goal in the opening five minutes consigned Hornchurch to defeat against fellow relegation battlers Lewes.

Red cards have been a feature of Urchins matches recently and it was no different against the East Sussex side when Junior Luke was sent off in the first half.

The Bridge Avenue club made no changes to the squad that beat Dulwich Hamlet in their previous match.

The Rooks had been looking for their first away win in six league games with their last successful trip on January 17 against Grays Athletic.

The Dripping Pan outfit took a fourth-minute lead when Jack Rowe-Hurst’s cross-cum-shot bamboozled Sam Mott in the hosts’ goal, drifting over him into the net.

Five minutes later the visitors went close again when James Fraser fired a 25 yard free kick on target but Mott was able to save easily.

With 11 minutes gone there was a stoppage in play as the floodlights went out and play resumed following a quarter of an hour delay.

Two minutes after the restart Fraser chest-controlled a chipped pass from Sam Cole before turning and aiming a volley at goal but Mott was well behind it.

It was only the first half but the Lewes were already being warned by the referee about time wasting.

The Urchins were awarded a free kick after a foul on Luke in the 31st minute and George Purcell’s dipping effort from 30 yards forced Rikki Banks into action.

But just over a minute later defender Luke was in the thick of the action again when he was dismissed for a foul on Tom Davis.

The hosts did not seem affected by their disadvantage as Purcell went close when latching onto a long clearance 60 seconds later but pushed his effort wide.

In the 42nd minute Reece Beckles-Richards wriggled past three defenders in the box before forcing Banks to push the ball across the goal but there was no Urchin to tap it in.

The hosts’ tails were up and a minute later Purcell made the Lewes ‘keeper move again to keep out a curling left-footed effort from 20 yards.

Despite their late rally at the end of the opening 45 minutes Hornchurch went in behind.

Frankie Curley’s tackle on Chris Breach caused a melee between the sides in the 58th minute before Curley was booked for the foul.

With 24 minutes remaining, Joey May’s free kick was headed across goal by Danny Johnson but Urchins sub Martin Tuohy could not stretch far enough to reach the ball.

Since losing a man the hosts looked the only side capable of scoring but they struggled to convert their pressure into chances.

That remained the case in the last 10 minutes and try as they might Hornchurch were unable to unlock the Lewes defence.

Team: Mott, Luke, Coyne (Bourne 45), Styles, Roast, Curley, May, Johnson, Joseph (Nwachuku 69), Purcell, Beckles-Richards (Tuohy 63)

Referee: Lee Forrester

Attendance: 132

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