Bostik North: Hornchurch 3 Brentwood 4
PUBLISHED: 16:56 01 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:12 02 January 2018
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Hornchurch made a losing start to the new year after a seven-goal derby at Bridge Avenue.
Only four minutes had been played when the ball was played into the box and Matt Price swept it past Sam Mott to put the visitors ahead.
Price sent another effort flying across the face of goal seconds later, before Blues doubled their lead on seven minutes as a speculative effort from Jack Gardner went under Mott.
Shellshocked Urchins saw Sean Roberts fire just wide as they sought a quick reply and the hosts enjoyed a good spell of pressure, although Brentwood looked dangerous on the break.
Price curled another attempt just wide, before George Purcell fired wide for Urchins on 25 minutes.
And it was 3-0 on the half-hour mark when a ball into the box was not cleared and Andy Freeman volleyed home.Leon McKenzie was booked soon after, then volleyed over from a Purcell cross shortly before the interval.
And Urchins saw Olumide Oluwatimilehin drag a shot wide within two minutes of the restart, as Jed Chouman and Matthias Fanimo were replaced by Tobi Joseph and Theo Fairweather-Johnson.
A good run by Fairweather-Johnson set up a chance for Purcell, but Hornchurch’s all-time leading goalscorer mistimed his shot.
But Price was inches away from adding to his tally when a defensive header fell to him and his effort rebounded off a post on 51 minutes.
The hosts were awarded a penalty two minutes later when a Brentwood player was adjudged to have handled in the box and Purcell tucked away the spot-kick to give the leaders a glimmer of hope.
And it was so nearly a one-goal game when McKenzie met Brad Warner’s corner and headed against a post.
Fairweather-Johnson headed wide from Purcell’s cross on the hour, but Mott had to make a superb save to keep out Freeman’s shot on the turn at the other end.
Mott produced another excellent stop to deny Price on 69 minutes, but Brentwood were generally happy to sit back and protect their lead as Hornchurch had more of the play but could not find a way through.
And with three minutes to go, Blues claimed their fourth when substitute Izzy Bademosi turned in the box after a cross from Theo Jones and fired past Mott.
McKenzie replied within a minute and Urchins were awarded a penalty in the third minute of injury when Joseph was fouled, with Purcell scoring from the spot for a second time.
But it was too late to be anything other than a consolation as Jimmy McFarlane’s men were left empty-handed.
Hornchurch: Mott, Bentley, Porter, Chouman (Joseph 48), Cooper, Oluwatimilehin, Fanimo (Fairweather-Johnson 48), Roberts, McKenzie, Purcell, Warner. Unused subs: Hursit, Livings, Collis.