Isthmian League: Merstham 1 Hornchurch 2
PUBLISHED: 09:25 11 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:25 11 August 2019
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Hornchurch came from behind to begin the new BetVictor Isthmian League Premier Division season with three points on Saturday.
Having fallen behind to an Ellis Brown goal, the Urchins hit back in the second half through Lewwis Spence and Joe Christou to claim the spoils ahead of Tuesday's home meeting with Margate.
Having added Garrett Kelly and Mitchell Dickenson to his squad late last week, with Remi Sutton, Arthur Lee and Nathan Cooper still out injured, boss Mark SStimson saw his side start well.
George Saunders sent a free-kick over the bar early on, with Charlie Stimson seeing an effort well saved by Matte Pierson on six minutes.
Chris Dickson flicked on for Saunders to race clear but fire over, before the hosts took the lead on 19 minutes as Brown cut inside and sent a low shot past Joe Wright.
Christou forced Pierson into action with a first-time shot, before Dickenson was booked for pulling Omar Folkes, who was denied by a good save from Wright.
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Stimson volleyed over from a Saunders through ball before the break, but Urchins had Wright to thank for another good save to prevent Folkes doubling the home side's lead.
Spence went close a minute after the restart, while Liam Smith shot wide from range for Merstham.
Wright saved well from Chace Jacquart on the hour, with Folkes firing the loose ball over before Urchins made a double change on 64 minutes.
Jordan Clark and Danny Uchechi replaced Dickenson and Stimson respectively and the visitors were back on terms two minutes later as Uchechi combined with Saunders to set up Spence, who fired home a left-footed shot.
Dickson headed over with a quarter of an hour remaining, but Urchins grabbed a winnner on 80 minutes as Pierson saw a pass cut out by Saunders, who ran forward and squared for Christou to slot home.
Urchins went close to a late third when Dickson got in front of his marker, but his lobbed attempt went just wide.
Hornchurch: Wright, Parcell, R Winn, Dickenson (Clark 64), Hayles, Johnson, Saunders, Spence, Stimson (Uchechi 64), Dickson, Christou. Unused subs: Kelly, Goode, G Winn.