Isthmian League: Hornchurch 3 Brightlingsea Regent 0
PUBLISHED: 17:10 28 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:10 28 December 2019
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Hornchurch ended 2019 on a winning note at Bridge Avenue on Saturday.
Having lost 1-0 when the two sides met on the Essex coast earlier in the season, Urchins saw Chris Dickson volley over with only two minutes played and Lewwis Spence fire over soon after.
Regent's Morisi Gelashvili received an early booking for preventing a quick Hornchurch free-kick, then fired over when a corner from Romario Dunne was cleared to him on 11 minutes.
But Urchins took the lead on the quarter-hour mark through Rickie Hayles, who headed in a George Saunders free-kick at the far post after Dickson was fouled by Finn O'Reilly.
Some neat build-up play from Mark Stimson's men ended with Saunders flashing a shot wide on 18 minutes and Dickson had an effort ruled out for offside after a superb cross from Jordan Clark midway through the half.
Spence and Cooper were booked in quick succession for the home side, but Spence then saw a well-struck shot saved by Charlie Turner and a subsequent corner headed onto the crossbar by Dickson.
Hayles had his name taken four minutes before the break, but the hosts were awarded a penalty in stoppage time after Gelashvili handled in the box.
And Dickson stepped up to convert from the spot, firing low into the corner to double the advantage for Urchins at the midway mark.
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Dunne sent an early header wide after the restart for Regent, while a long throw-in from Matt Johnson was flicked on by Clark and saved by Turner, before Urchins won a string of corners and Cooper headed wide.
Clark headed just wide from a Saunders cross on 63 minutes, while Turner pushed Dickson's shot wide for a corner.
And Urchins went 3-0 up on 66 minutes as the corner was cleared only as far as Cooper and he fired home.
Spence saw a great strike well saved by Turner seven minutes later, as Urchins looked to add to their tally, then fired another attempt just wide on 76 minutes.
Hornchurch were reduced to 10 men, though, when Cooper was dismissed for a second bookable offence after conceding a penalty, before Joe Wright's full length dive kept out George Bugg's spot-kick.
And the win leaves Hornchurch sitting in fourth place heading into 2020, with a home match against Horsham up next on January 4.
Hornchurch: Wright, Parcell, R Winn (Uchechi 77), Lee (G Winn 46), Hayles, Johnson, Saunders, Spence, Dickson (Morgan 87), Clark, Cooper.
Unused subs: Stimson, Hassan.
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