Rovers sent tumbling out of the FA Cup by Urchins

FA Cup first round qualifying: Barton Rovers 1 Hornchurch 4

Friday, 10th September 2021, 10:10 am

Barton Rovers were knocked out of the FA Cup after a disappointing defeat at the hands of Isthmian Premier Division side Hornchurch on Tuesday night.

Following a battling draw at the Urchins on Saturday, expectations were that Rovers were in with a real chance of progression with a repeat performance on home soil.

Unfortunately, the visitors had entirely different ideas of the outcome as from kick-off to final whistle, they completely outplayed their opposite numbers.

Early on, captain Lewis Spence shot wide from a good position and just minutes later man of the match Sam Higgins looked to have scored but for a last-ditch block.

However, the constant pressure Rovers coupled with their inability to retain possession, resulted in an opening goal on 24 minutes when Higgins slotted home following a rebound.

Just two minutes later, following a dubious free-kick, the home defence was missing and Higgins once more pounced to head his second and double the lead.

An attempted lob from Liam Nash was saved by Kyle Forster and then Higgins shot wide when it looked easier to score.

However, Rovers were thrown a life-line on 39 minutes when the visitors handballed inside their area for a penalty that Bradley Bell tucked away.

The warning signs for Barton continued when winger Nash almost bent one in when cutting in from the left on 49 minutes and half-time substitute Kai Phelan deflected a goalbound shot behind.

The pressure exerted by the visitors simply overwhelmed Rovers and it was no surprise when Higgins completed his hat-trick on the night after 55 minutes.

Rovers flashed briefly into attacking action on the hour mark when a Chris Regis shot was parried by keeper Joe Wright, but no other attacker was able to to pick up the pieces.

Ironically, from that Barton attack, Hornchurch charged up the other end as Nash finally got the goal he deserved on the night and in doing so killed any hope of a home recovery.

Rovers made a host of changes, but they failed to stem the tide of superiority Hornchurch enjoyed as they took their place in the next round draw at home to Walthamstow.

Barton are now at home to Southern League Division One Central newcomers Colney Heath at Sharpenhoe Road on Saturday.

Rovers: Forster, Powell, Williams, Andrews, Thomas (Phelan 46), Adeoti, Osobu (Lee 83), Shepherd, Frater (Evans 65), Regis, Bell.

Attendance: 151.