AFC Hornchurch 0 Dereham Town 1: Morphew hits late winner for Magpies
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/phcimages.com
A late goal from skipper Daniel Morphew earned Dereham the points at the Bridge, writes Rene Kendal.
Goalkeeper Will Viner had to be alert in the fourth minute to prevent defender Jay Eastoe-Smith's interception from Harry Agombar's cross from entering his net.
The Magpies won a free-kick inside the Hornchurch half with Adam Smith heading Danny Beaumont's centre into keeper Sam Mott's arms. They came close to netting the opener when David Hinton fed Rhys Logan on the right-hand side of the box and his diagonal drive clipped the near post.
Hornchurch's Leon McKenzie was then cautioned for an elbow on Robbie Lindford.
The home side created a good chance in the 24th minute with Ayrton Coley steering McKenzie's pullback wide from close range.
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Coley then tried his luck from distance but the ball sailed over Viner's upright.
The Urchins pressed with James Morrish firing over from 25 yards before forcing Viner into a fingertip save from his close-range header.
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As play flowed freely Adam Smith's superb cross was cleared by the home defence before Dereham keeper Viner made another excellent save to deny Abs Thompson with 38 minutes gone.
The visitors replied with Logan hitting a firm low drive that keeper Mott could only parry and the Dereham man was unable to net the loose ball.
After the goalless first half Smith's inviting ball from the left just eluded Logan at the far post. The home side won a corner on the left; Agombar's centre fell to McKenzie who hit a fierce drive that was blocked by Joe Gatting.
The Magpies then gained a free kick on the left flank with Beaumont's delivery travelling across the goalmouth to Gatting who flicked the ball over from close range.
Smith conceded a corner to thwart a quick break from the Essex side and Dereham continued to search for a winner themselves.
They got their reward in the 87th minute. Ryan Crisp cut inside from the left and struck a firm low drive into Mott's far post but the loose ball fell to the feet of Morphew who hammered the home from close range.