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Hornchurch hit by late loss

PUBLISHED: 09:04 02 December 2015 | UPDATED: 11:25 02 December 2015

Joe Christou scores the first goal for Thurrock against Hornchurch (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Joe Christou scores the first goal for Thurrock against Hornchurch (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

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Ryman North: Thurrock 2 Hornchurch 1

Leon McKenzie scores for Hornchurch against Thurrock (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Leon McKenzie scores for Hornchurch against Thurrock (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch saw their six-match unbeaten run brought to a halt in unfortunate fashion as they slumped to a last-gasp loss at Ship Lane last night.

Lewwis Spence earned promotion rivals Fleet all three points in the final minute of normal time with a fortuitous finish and his left-footed shot deflected off his standing foot and bobbled past Sam Mott and inside the post.

And victory allowed Thurrock to leapfrog Urchins into second place, having played two games less.

Hornchurch made the short trip on the back of a comfortable 4-1 win over lowly Haringey Borough at the weekend, when George Purcell’s hat-trick took him to 19 league goals for the season.

Paul Goodacre of Hornchurch challenges former Urchins striker Ross Wall of Thurrock (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Paul Goodacre of Hornchurch challenges former Urchins striker Ross Wall of Thurrock (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

But the home side took the lead just before the half-hour mark when some neat passing through midfield eventually set up a chance for Joe Christou on the right and his low drive from just inside the box beat Mott.

Urchins boss Jimmy McFarlane replaced Alex Bentley and Charlie Dove with Billy Coyne and Tobi Joseph at the break, but it was his third change later in the game that had the desired impact.

Leon McKenzie was sent on for David Knight with 17 minutes remaining and grabbed the equaliser just six minutes later as he slotted a right-footed shot past Rhys Madden.

McKenzie and Joseph went close to giving the visitors the lead as the two sides both went in search of a winner in front of a crowd of 206.

Junior Luke of Hornchurch tangles with Michael Toner and James Goode of Thurrock (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Junior Luke of Hornchurch tangles with Michael Toner and James Goode of Thurrock (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Purcell forced a fine save from Madden at his near post in the closing minutes and it looked like the match would end all square when the ball was flicked on in the Hornchurch box and Spence hit a first-time shot that beat the despairing dive of Mott and sent the home fans into raptures.

Urchins will look to bounce back on Saturday when they welcome Bury Town – who beat Thurrock in the FA Trophy last weekend – to Bridge Avenue.

Hornchurch: Mott, Cooper, Bentley (Coyne 46), May, Styles, Goodacre, Chouman, Dove (Joseph 46), Knight (McKenzie 73), Purcell, Luke. Unuseds subs: Poku, Thompson.

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