AFC Hornchurch 2 Lowestoft Town 1
A disputed penalty in the final minute of normal time saw the Trawlerboys slip to defeat.
With three central defenders on the injured list Lowestoft's defensive resources were stretched to the limits with a place on the bench for recent signings David Tarawali and Saul Otobo.
Pre-match rain had ceased by the time the game started but both sides took time to settle on the saturated surface and it was 16 minutes before there was a real goal attempt with Jack Ainsley's cross being met by the head of Bradley Woods-Garness but the ball was comfortably held by keeper Inigo Echepare.
A dangerous cross from Chris Bourne saw Dan Gleeson fall on the ball in the six-yard box, with Ashlee Jones pouncing to collect at the feet of Ade Yusuff. Lowestoft were looking the better side at this stage and from another Ainsley cross Lee Smith's header was only inches wide of the upright.
Lowestoft deservedly took the lead in the 35th minute with an excellent strike. Gleeson brought down a long clearance and squared to Stuart Ainsley who played it forward to Chris Henderson on the left flank. Controlling the ball superbly Henderson cut inside two defenders before drilling the ball home from some 30 yards out.
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Lowestoft were pegged back within three minutes of the restart when Chris Bourne scored.
A Stuart Ainsley cross saw a Woods-Garness flick just clear the bar and at the other end Jones dived to hold a header from Elliot Styles. With the rain making life difficult the game fell into a battle of long balls.
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The game was finally settled in Hornchurch's favour in the final minute as Bourne fell under a challenge by Stuart Ainsley who appeared to win it cleanly. However, a spot kick was given which was converted by Purcell.