AVELEY are through to the last 16 of the FA Trophy after securing a 2-1 win over Hornchurch.

The Millers extended their record-breaking run in the competition by getting the better of the Isthmian Premier League high-flyers.

Although Chris Dickson cancelled out Shad Ngandu’s early opener from the penalty spot, Harry Gibbs grabbed the winning goal and he was pleased to play a key role as Keith Rowland’s side advanced.

“It’s always nice to get the winning goal,” Gibbs told Aveley FC TV.

“That is three goals in three games in the FA Trophy for me.

“It was a simple header at the end of the day and I managed to stick it in the net.

“I think we are the lowest ranked team still in the competition.

“I don’t think there are even any clubs in the step above still in it - I’m sure the closest to us are National League South and National League North teams.”

Aveley have faced a tough route to the last 16 of the FA Trophy, with Rowland’s charges having to overcome East Grinstead Town, Bowers & Pitsea, Taunton Town, Biggleswade Town and Carshalton Athletic.

But the Millers continue to see off any side put in front of them and got off to the perfect start against a Hornchurch side managed by former Grays Athletic and Thurrock boss Mark Stimson.

Alex Akrofi and George Sykes had already forced Urchins goalkeeper Joe Wright into action before Aveley were awarded a ninth minute spot-kick after Akrofi was grounded by Nathan Cooper.

Ngandu confidently converted the penalty to put the visitors in the driving seat.

The Isthmian North outfit continued to dominate proceedings and Wright made a sharp stop to keep out a Jason Raad free-kick.

However, Hornchurch equalised in the dying moments of the first half.

Aveley were penalised for handball and Dickson coolly slotted the spot-kick home to level matters.

The hosts were reduced to 10 men five minutes after the resumption as Mickey Parcell was given his marching orders following a rash challenge.

And the Millers profited almost immediately as Jonathan Nzengo’s cross was headed into the back of the net by Gibbs.

There was no way back for Hornchurch and Gibbs hailed the Millers’ performance.

Gibbs added: “It was a tough game and it was always going to be. They are a very physical and good side.

“They are right up there in their league but we have done it before and we knew what to expect.

“We were a lot more physical than we have been in recent weeks.”