Met arrest Hornchurch hopes

PUBLISHED: 14:00 01 November 2015 | UPDATED: 14:00 01 November 2015

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

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

©TGS Photo +44 8450 946026

FA Trophy: Hornchurch 2 Met Police 3

Hornchurch slumped to their second disappointing defeat in a week as they were beaten by Metropolitan Police at Bridge Avenue.

The Urchins were looking to bounce back from their 1-0 home defeat in the local derby against Romford and were quick out of the blocks, with a high tempo obviously having been part of the pre-match team talk.

Their energy was very nearly rewarded within minutes when David Knight had his shot saved at the near post from a low Abs Thompson cross.

Both sides continued to probe away with half chances coming mainly down the flanks before Dave Collis conceded a free-kick 25 yards out.

The resulting set-piece was beautifully executed by Charlie Collins and left Sam Mott grabbing at thin air as the ball curled into the net to give the visitors the lead after 25 minutes.

The goal, although against the run of play, led to a prolonged spell of pressure from the visitors as their confidence grew.

The dangerous Joe Turner delivered a well-weighted ball to Collins on the corner of the 18-yard box, but Mott made himself big to prevent a second goal.

A controversial moment put Hornchurch level on 38 minutes when Nathan Cooper was brought down in the penalty area by Steve Sutherland, who appeared to get a large chunk of the the ball along with the man.

Met Police protests were waved away before George Purcell converted the spot-kick with a low strike to the keeper’s left.

The momentum then swung back in Hornchurch’s favour for the remainder of the half but Cooper could only manage to balloon his header over the bar from the centre of the six yard box before the whistle blew for half time.

The second half began in lacklustre fashion for Hornchurch and they allowed Met Police far more space to play.

An untimely slip from captain Elliot Styles gifted Adrian Markus a one-on-one opportunity and he made no mistake, chipping coolly over the onrushing Mott and leaving the Urchins rattled.

The game began to open up with Hornchurch creating a number of chances, the best of which came when Connor Witherspoon‘s whipped cross found Purcell completely unmarked, but his header soared over the bar to the amazement of the entire stadium.

Purcell was then presented with yet another chance when Met goalkeeper Craig King’s desperate clearance from outside his area fell kindly, but the striker’s shot drifted exasperatingly over the gaping goalmouth.

Hornchurch eventually found an equaliser when Collis rose high above the Met defence to head home a Joey May corner in the 71st minute.

And the Urchins continued to threaten as they pursued a late winner, but a defensive mix-up on the edge of the home side’s area gave the ball away and substitute Sam Butler‘s deft flick put Joe Turner in and his well-placed shot proved decisive with just 12 minutes to go.

Despite the host’s frantic efforts to force a replay, Met Police were able to control the closing minutes, condemning Hornchurch to their second defeat in as many games.

Hornchurch: Mott, Witherspoon, Bentley, Styles, Cooper, May, Thompson (Baker 77), Collis, Knight, Purcell, Joseph. Unused subs: Poku, Dove, Coyne, Chouman.

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