Grays bowed out the Essex Senior Cup at the semi-final stage on Tuesday, with Ryman Division One North Urchins springing the upset.
After the pre-match drama of the on-off arrival of Garry Hill as director of football, Blues boss Justin Edinburgh will have been pleased to concentrate on football and fielded a side with several first team players.
However, he also included a fair sprinkling of youth, whose exuberance meant it was a competitive, if somewhat scrappy affair.
Hornchurch took the lead in the late stages of the first half when Ronnie Fletcher headed home a Mark Janney corner and Grays came closest to equalising when Matt Bodkin hit a post.
Under manager Colin McBride there is a strong ex Thurrock connection at Hornchurch and two more former Fleet men wrapped up a disappointing night for Grays, Kris Lee and Simon Parker netting the second half goals that sealed the tie and a final appearance at Roots Hall against either Great Wakering Rovers or Aveley.
Thanks to the Thurrock Gazette for the report.