Spalding United 1, AFC Hornchurch 4
A HAT-TRICK from Carl Rook and one from Ade Yusuff ensured Urchins progressed to the third qualifying round of the FA Cup at the expense of their hosts, who battled bravely but were outclassed by a side two steps above them in the non-League pyramid.
Hornchurch took time to settle on a hard and bumpy pitch, and the ball being affected by the strong wind which swept downfield, and at times in the first half conceded midfield possession to the home side.
Home keeper Michael Duggan was quickly in action when he rose to punch away a Joey May corner, but it was Spalding who had the first goalscoring chance of the day, when Elliot Styles was caught in possession by Sam Mullarkey, whose shot was well saved by Inigo Echepare.
Carl Rook almost gave Hornchurch an early lead when he met a Chris Bourne centre from the left, but his header was over the bar.
Tambeson Eyong then spurned two chances and
should have taken the lead when Mullarkey played a good through pass to Cotton, but his shot was under hit and was saved comfortably by Echepare.
Mullarkey then missed the best chance of the half when he received the ball on the edge of the area, but hit his shot over the bar.
Hornchurch took the lead on 33 minutes when Stefan Payne weaved through several defenders, then placed the ball into the middle for Carl Rook to finish.
Although Hornchurch had at times struggled to find their usual rhythm, their second half performance, playing with the strong at their back was much more composed.
Urchins were forcing he pace and Chris Bourne, floated the ball into the goalmouth for Rook to glance home a second goal on 59 minutes.
Five minutes later Rook , this time converting a penalty following a handball from Bourne’s centre by Dan Cotton.
This was Rook’s last involvement in the action, as he was immediately replaced by new signing Leigh Bremner, who has been signed from Cray Wanderers.
Perhaps Hornchurch, with a comfortable lead, relaxed too much, for Spalding replied with a goal from Andy Tidswell who scored with a spectacular shot from outside the area.
Sam Lechmere and Yusuff replaced Payne and Bourne, and Yuseff marked his introduction with a fourth Hornchurch goal five minutes from time.
Spalding almost pulled a goal back in the final few seconds, when a long-range shot cannoned back off the post into the arms of Inigo.