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Bostik North: Brentwood 1 Hornchurch 6

PUBLISHED: 14:55 02 April 2018

Nathan Cooper of Hornchurch (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Nathan Cooper of Hornchurch (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Christian Assombalonga’s hat-trick proved a highlight as Hornchurch hit Brentwood for six at Aveley’s Parkside ground on Easter Monday.

With most other games in the division wiped out, Urchins took full advantage to move 13 points clear of Bowers, who have a game in hand, at the top of the table.

Hornchurch had lost 4-3 when the two sides met at Bridge Avenue on New Year’s Day, but the return fixture was barely two minutes old when they opened the scoring as Assombalonga’s neat lay-off teed up Tobi Joseph to drill a shot wide of keeper Tim Brown.

And it was 2-0 on four minutes as Brad Warner’s free-kick was headed in by Nathan Cooper.

Warner had another free-kick well saved, before Brentwood’s Luke Foster clipped the crossbar at the other end.

Joseph limped off to be replaced by George Purcell on the quarter-hour mark before Assombalonga raced on to Palmer’s long kick to force a save from Brown.

And Purcell made it 3-0 with a stunning effort, spinning on to a throw-in and volleying over Brown and into the far corner of the net.

Brown denied Cooper and Purcell as rampant Urchins threatened again, but Blues hit the outside of a post on the half-mark mark.

Hornchurch claimed their fourth goal on 34 minutes when good work by Purcell found Assombalonga, who smashed his shot into the top corner.

Harry Palmer had to be alert to claim Alfie Hilton’s good ball into the box on 41 minutes, while Harry Cuthbert fired wide before the break.

The visitors picked up from where they left off in the second half, with Warner seeing a shot blocked and another saved inside seven minutes.

Connor Hogan was wide of the mark too, before Assombalonga headed in Warner’s whipped cross to make it 5-0 on 61 minutes.

And the chances continued to come, with Purcell too high after linking up with Assombalonga and Hogan heading wide from Jay Porter’s cross.

Kenzer Lee made way for Jamie Hursit midway through the second half, with Purcell seeing a free-kick parried by Brown soon after.

And Assombalonga completed his treble seven minutes from time, before Brendan Cavalier’s last-minute consolation ruined Palmer’s hopes of a clean sheet.

Brentwood: T Brown, Pugsley, Gardner, Jones (Hunter 54), Gibbs, Cavalier, Hilton (Stanley 66), Robson, Stokes, Cuthbert, Foster (Ranger 66). Unused subs: L Brown, Mitchell.

Hornchurch: Palmer, Bentley, Porter, Lee (Hursit 68), Cooper, Styles, Roberts, Hogan, Joseph (Purcell 15), Oluwatimilehin, Warner (Collis 82). Unused subs: McKenzie, Livings.

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