High-flyers outclass Hornchurch
PUBLISHED: 08:45 03 September 2014 | UPDATED: 08:45 03 September 2014
Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League
Ryman Premier: Hornchurch 0 Maidstone 2
High-flying Maidstone outclassed Hornchurch at Mill Field last night to consign Urchins to a seventh Ryman Premier defeat of the season.
First-half goals from Frannie Collin and Alex Flisher virtually put the game to bed and gave Jimmy McFarlane’s men an uphill task.
And despite a better second-half display, they were unable to reduce the arrears and fell to another loss.
Maidstone had the first opportunity after a long throw caused confusion in the box, but captain Steve Watt fired over the bar.
Neither side was able to create many more clear-cut chances in the opening exchanges, but Hornchurch’s Junior Luke went close with a rasping volley, which Lee Worgan did well to save.
Then, with 18 minutes played, the visitors opened the scoring when another long throw caused problems for Sam Mott and the home defence.
After some penalty box pinball, Maidstone’s Collin profited, swivelling and striking the ball into the bottom corner to give his side the lead.
Tobi Joseph directed a header off target for Hornchurch shortly after before they conceded a second five minutes later.
Maidstone took a quick free-kick and Ben Greenhalgh’s centre was excellently converted by Flisher, who flicked the ball between his legs and into the corner for a two-goal cushion.
The visitors controlled proceedings after and although Urchins started to produce some slicker football before the half-time whistle, they were unable to create a chance of note.
Hornchurch did work Worgan at the start of the second period as he tipped George Purcell’s swerving free-kick over the bar before the striker sliced another effort off target.
And Urchins continued to press as Joseph was nearly given a clear shot at goal, but Maidstone skipper Watt slid in excellently following Luke’s knock down.
Despite the hosts starting brightly, they nearly found themselves further behind when Alex Bentley brought down Mark Bodkin inside the box.
Collin stepped up to take the spot-kick, but his effort was well saved by Mott to keep Urchins in the game.
Four minutes after that penalty save and Hornchurch should have reduced the deficit through Joseph, but the forward side-footed wide when well placed and was substituted soon after.
Luke did come close to reducing the arrears five minutes from time, but after beating a couple of opponents he dragged his shot wide before substitute Junior Dadson also fired off target moments later.
That represented Hornchurch’s final opportunity and they have just one point from eight league matches with table toppers Margate up next.
Urchins make their first appearance of the season at their Bridge Avenue home on Saturday, following work on their floodlights, and supporters are reminded that the match will begin at the earlier time of 2pm.
Hornchurch: Mott, Starkey, Bentley, Styles, Beckles, Curley, Luke, Davis (Marshall-Katung 64), Joseph (Dadson 73), Purcell, Bourne.