Bostik Premier: Merstham 3 Hornchurch 0

PUBLISHED: 17:01 26 January 2019

Hornchurch manager Mark Stimson (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch manager Mark Stimson (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Hornchurch fell to their third Bostik Premier defeat in four matches against play-off hopefuls Merstham at the SpecSavers Stadium on Saturday.

After a fairly quiet opening period, Hornchurch saw a corner from George Saunders flicked on by Sean Marks but put behind for another set-piece.

And Saunders got the byline midway through the half but flashed the ball across the face of goal, before Simon Cooper flicked wide from a Merstham corner at the other end.

The home side took the lead five minutes before the break when a mix-up in the Hornchurch defence saw the ball run free to Harry Osborne, who sidefooted home.

And the visitors were forced into a change on the stroke of half time, with Charlie Stimson replacing the injured Marks.

The second half was only two minutes old when Merstham doubled their lead as the ball came back off the post and was tucked away by Tom Bird.

But Urchins had a great chance to hit straight back, when Purcell’s powerful shot forced a good save from Amadou Tangara.

Purcell saw another drive blocked, from substitute Joe Christou’s cross on 63 minutes, with Saunders seeing a free-kick well held by Tangara as Urchins enjoyed a good spell of pressure.

Tangara was booked for time wasting on 69 minutes, but Jordan Clark had his name taken soon after for Urchins, before Cooper joined both in the referee’s notebook for a foul on Stimson.

Merstham made the next impression on the scoreboard, though, on 76 minutes as they countered and caught Hornchurch out for Roman Michael-Percil to net their third goal.

Christou had an effort smothered by Tangara moments later and saw another attempt deflected behind for a corner in the last minute, with Saunders seeing a subsequent shot saved as the visitors were frustrated once more and came away empty-handed.

Hornchurch: Chafer, Bentley, Porter, G Winn, Wilson, Clark, Saunders, Miles (Christou 61), Marks (Stimson 45), Purcell, R Winn. Unused subs: Spence, Dutton, Goode.

Attendance: 196.

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