A much improved Invicta performance failed to produce a 1st ever win at Hornchurch at the Isthmian Premier Division leaders flexed their muscles to pull 8 points clear.
Off the back of defeat at Kingstonian, Invicta made a number of changes. Freddy Barton returned at right back in place of Elliott Moore who picked up a knock at Imperial Fields. Will Moses and Andy Drury came into a 5 man midfield, alongside Ade Cole who was given the all clear by doctors after being forced off at Kingstonian just before half time, while David Smith lead the line with Luke Holness operating just behind.
Hornchurch lined up with 2 former Invicta men in their side, Nathan Green at left back and Ade Yusuff in attack.
It was Yusuff who had the first sight of goal inside 4 minutes as he met a cross from the right with a free header just yards out but failed to keep his effort down. Minutes later Hornchurch gave Invicta another warning as Nash beat Barton to a header that also failed to hit the target.
Yusuff had a second sight of goal as he latched onto a free kick from deep to force the first save of the evening from Joe Coleman from a tight angle, followed by a second before the ball was cleared for a corner.
It was Invicta however who struck first. Under pressure in midfield Hornchurch went backwards with a pass that took a nick off Holness to forced a mistake that David Smith was alive to, with Invicta’s number 9 twisting the 2 centre halves one way and the other before getting off a right footed effort that lacked real venom but sent the Hornchurch keeper the wrong way as it rolled into the net.
Invicta’s goalscorer left the pitch in the 34th minute with a knock, replaced by Ibrahim Olutade.
The hosts remained a threat from set pieces, but Invicta stood firm until the 40th minute when a free kick from the Hornchurch right was met inside the 6 yard box by Nathan Cooper to head home and send the sides in level at the break.
Just 2 minutes into the second half and Invicta were given another warning of how dangerous the league leaders are from set pieces as a first corner dropped just wide via an Invicta head before a second lead to a shot wide from Yusuff after Invicta failed to clear.
Liam Nash, Isthmian Premier Division top goalscorer with 13 goal in 12 games, had another sight of goal as he met a deep cross from Green with a free header but failed to hit the target.
20 minutes into the second half, Hornchurch showed their attacking strength as recent signing Femi Akinwande entered the pitch, the former Hastings United top scorer having made the move to Bridge Avenue earlier in the month.
Andy Drury saw a shot well blocked as he came onto a headed clearance to hit a low drive from 25 yards.
Invicta could possibly count themselves lucky that Nash appearance to be having an off-night in front of goal as he fired over from a Yusuff cutback just after the hour mark.
Invicta punished Hornchurch for their failure to take chances on the 69 minute mark. Andy Drury delivered a cross from the left that goalkeeper Dion-Curtis Henry failed to claim, Ibrahim Olutade fired the loose ball goal-bound only to see it cleared on the line but Luke Holness was on hand to hook the clearance into the net an restore Invicta’s lead.
On 76 minutes Olutade had the chance to wrap up the points as he ran onto a pass from Ade Cole down the left wing, left his defender sprawling on the grass before bending just wide of the far corner from a tight angle.
Invicta were swiftly made to pay. Yusuff fed Nash who rounded the keeper before a last ditch challenge from Will Moses denied him a shot at an open goal but from the resulting corner Ryan Scott headed against the bar with Yusuff on hand to knock the ball home from point blank range.
And before Invicta could catch their breath the game had been snatched away from them completely as a long throw came off a defending head and fell to Akinwande who smashed home inside the 6 yard box to give Hornchurch the lead with little more than 10 minutes to play.
With Invicta now pressing for an equaliser the hosts hit on the break with Akinwande forcing a good save from Coleman with an effort from the edge of the box.
Invicta send on Jordon Ababio for Chris Regis in search of a late equaliser but almost immediately any thoughts of salvaging a point were killed off. This time a short throw into Yusuff who shrugged off a challenge to fire a low ball into the 6 yard box for Akinwande to finish with his 8th league goal of the season.
Invicta were forced into a 3rd change after Ian Gayle was caught with a nasty challenge that saw him replaced by Jake Goodman, making his debut for the club.
In injury time Jordon Ababio fired wide from the edge of the D while Luke Holness curler over the bar from a few yards further back with the final kick of the night.
Invicta now look ahead to a trip to Carshalton Athletic on Saturday 4th November, a 4th successive away trip for Mev & Edgy’s side.