Hornchurch hopes sunk by Stones

PUBLISHED: 16:58 17 January 2015 | UPDATED: 16:58 17 January 2015

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch manager Jim 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: Maidstone 2 Hornchurch 0

Hornchurch goalkeeper Sam Mott (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Hornchurch goalkeeper Sam Mott (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch conceded late in each half as they fell to defeat at Ryman Premier Division leaders Maidstone.

Urchins had their chances at the Gallagher Stadium, but Steve Watt put Stones ahead eight minutes before the break and substitute Frannie Collin sealed the points two minutes from time.

The visitors made a very bright start, with Tobi Joseph and Kieran Bishop combining in the first minute to find George Purcell, who fired over.

And Bishop was also too high with his 25-yard attempt a minute later, before Billy Bricknell fired wide for Stones at the other end.

Hornchurch captain Elliot Styles (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Hornchurch captain Elliot Styles (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Thomas Gogo saw his effort deflected wide on 11 minutes and Bishop was denied by an excellent block from Tom Mills two minutes later.

But Sam Mott had to produce a superb save to keep out the home side at the other end on 16 minutes, before Jack Parkinson headed the resulting corner over.

Lee Worgan saved well from Purcell midway through the first half, before Junior Luke picked up the first yellow card of the match and was quickly followed into the referee’s black book by Maidstone’s Parkinson and Mills.

And Urchins were inches away from opening the scoring just past the half-hour mark when Mott’s quick throw sent Purcell racing clear only to fire against the post.

Bishop went close after another excellent break from the visitors moments later, but then Urchins fell behind eight minutes before the interval when Mott made a save at a free-kick and Watt poked home the loose ball for Stones.

Mott saved a header from Bricknell within a minute of the restart to deny the home side a second goal, but Hornchurch’s Luke set up Bishop on 49 minutes before another key block from Watt.

And Urchins had a great chance to level just six minutes later when Gogo found Luke, who headed the ball on for recent recruit Bishop, but his effort went wide from close range.

Manager Jimmy McFarlane made a pair of changes just after the hour, sending Danny Johnson on for the injured Alex Bentley, before Luke made way for Billy Coyne.

And he saw captain Elliot Styles head a Gogo corner over the bar on 65 minutes, before Johnson saw his 25-yard drive superbly saved by Lee Worgan.

Frankie Curley was booked after conceding a free-kick on 16 minutes, but Stones sent the 20-yard effort over the crossbar from a good central position.

Matt Bodkin fired too high for the hosts after a fine run 12 minutes from time, before McFarlane made his third and final change and sent on young Colchester loanee Dominic Smith for Joseph.

Maidstone’s former Hornchurch youngster Nathan Elder made way for Collin at the same time and Urchins had to thank Mott for another superb save on 84 minutes, before Bishop’s cross just evaded Purcell at the other end.

Mott kept Hornchurch hopes alive with another fantastic save at point-blank range, but there was no denying Collin two minutes from time as he pounced when the ball was dropped to seal the points for the home side in front of a crowd of 2,086.

Hornchurch turn their attentions to the Essex Senior Cup quarter-final on Tuesday, when they visit Ryman North side Redbridge, who were winners against Chatham at Oakside in their latest league outing.

Maidstone: Worgan, Huke, Mills, Watt, Miles, Rogers, Bodkin (Akrofi 89), Parkinson, Elder (Collin 78), Bricknell, Greenhalgh (Brown 76). Unused subs: Starkey, Godmon.

Hornchurch: Mott, Bentley (Johnson 62), Bourne, Styles, Roast, Curley, Joseph (Smith 78), Gogo, Bishop, Purcell, Luke (Coyne 64). Unused subs: Tuohy, May.

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