Hornchurch match report
match report by James Maw
Hornchurch inflicted a first defeat of the season on Kingstonian on a Saturday afternoon so sweltering that two drinks breaks were required.
The Urchins are among the bookmakers' favourites for the Isthmian Premier Division title, and started the season with seven points from nine matches, including last weekend's 6-0 romp at Worthing.
It was therefore no surprise that they flew out of the traps against K's, storming into a two-goal lead before we could really find our feet.
Chris Dickson - formerly of Charlton, Bristol Rovers and Gillingham, and also twice capped by Ghana - opened the scoring after eight minutes, pouncing fastest when a Rob Tolfrey clearance cannoned back off one of his own defenders.
The striker almost doubled the hosts' lead only to blast a good chance over the bar, but quickly played a key roll in the Essex side's second. Some neat interplay between Dickson and former Nigeria under-23 international Daniel Uchechi saw the Ghanaian find space down the left, from where he squared to Joe Christou to find the net.
From that point onwards it was a more even contest. Louis Theophanous dragged a shot just wide, before Fabio Saraiva saw a free-kick comfortably saved by Urchins keeper Joseph Osaghae.
As if it wasn't hot enough, the game threatened to boil over towards the end of the first half, with both George and Ronnie Winn booked for reckless challanges on Youssef Bamba and Gus Sow respectively.
Kingstonian enjoyed more possession in the early stages of the second half, but were unable to craft any clear cut chances. Sow drew a save from Osaghae, and Theophanous dragged another shot just wide, before the game was settled down the other end.
A swift, dynamic counter-attacking move saw Hornchurch shift the ball from their defensive third to the back of K's net in a matter of seconds, with Ronnie Winn surging forward to fire the ball through Tolfrey.
Although there was still over 25 minutes left to play, the sun had sapped much of the energy from the players, with the game effectively now over as a contest. Focus was very evidently on the battles ahead.
Hayden Bird's side will now chase their first win of the campaign at home to Bishop's Stortford on Bank Holiday Monday.
Hornchurch: Joseph Osaghae, Mickey Parcell, George Winn, Joe Christou, Rickie Hayles, Matt Johnson, George Saunders, Ronnie Winn, Mitchell Dickenson, Chris Dickson, Daniel Uchechi.
Subs: Charlie Stimson, Sonny Dutton, James Goode (for Joe Christou, 83m), Daniel Akindayini (for Chris Dickson, 87m), Archie Edwards (for Ronnie Winn, 80m).
Subs: Dan Thompson (for Tom Kavanagh, 64m), Calum Davies (for Youssef Bamba, 64m), Jon Tadafe (for Louie Theophanous, 72m), Lewis Pearch, Adam Neale.
Goal scorers: Chris Dickson (8m, 1-0), Joe Christou (16m, 2-0), Ronnie Winn (68m, 3-0)