SATURDAY’S FA Trophy tie brought a happy return to Thurrock for Hornchurch chairman Colin McBride, manager Jim McFarlane and coach John Purdie. The trio between them played over 1,300 games for Thurrock and McBride also had a long stint as manager.
The Conference South club were expected to provide difficult FA Trophy opposition for the Urchins, second in Ryman Premier, but it turned out to be a one-sided affair as Hornchurch powered to victory, with the hosts reduced to nine men by the close.
The first goal came in the 7th minute when Jonathan Hunt put a free kick into the box and it went past everyone and into the far corner of the net. Minutes later they nearly doubled their advantage when Martin
Tuohy’s lobbed shot came back off of the bar. Touhy was not be denied though and scored in the 36th minute when he played a one two and smashed a shot past David Hughes.
Urchins sealed the game a minute into the second half when Hunt floated a free kick into the box and Simon Glover got there before Hughes to flick a header into the net.
Shortly after that Lee Boylan had Thurrock’s best chance and was unlucky to see his shot come crashing back off of the bar.
Thurrock captain Dean Cracknell was then sent off for a lunging tackle, just before the visitors scored a fourth through Lewis Smith.
Thurrock went down to nine men when Drewe Broughton picked up two yellow cards in a minute and Michael Spencer added a fifth with virtually the last kick of the game.