Hornchurch have to draw positives

PUBLISHED: 14:30 10 April 2017

George Purcell attacks at dusty Waltham Abbey (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

George Purcell attacks at dusty Waltham Abbey (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Play-off place secured as rivals clinch title

Ross Wall of Hornchurch challenges for a header at Waltham Abbey (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo) Ross Wall of Hornchurch challenges for a header at Waltham Abbey (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Brightlingsea beat Romford on Saturday and are now Ryman North champions, while Hornchurch beat Waltham Abbey and we are now certain to participate in the play-offs.

Both Brightlingsea are ourselves have only lost seven matches this season, but the difference is in the amount of drawn games as Regent have drawn six times, while we have 13, and that is why they are champions and we are not.

We looked to be heading for yet another draw at Abbey until captain Elliot Styles, in his 495th game for the Urchins, headed the only goal of the game six minutes from time.

It was a match that manager Jim MacFarlane felt should not have started, as the state of the pitch was such that it was almost unplayable, and we spent much of the first half trying to overcome the bumps, ruts and dust.

If the ball was played along the ground it was a matter of chance where it would end up, and misplaced passes was the order of the first half.

We went into the match with an ever-growing injury list, without Nathan Cooper, Usman Adeniji, Abs Thompson, Paul Goodacre and Joey May. And we can add Tobi Joseph to that list, as he had another operation on his leg, and will now be on the sidelines for several months.

When we lost Sam Bantick, who limped off in the first half, we began to wonder if this was not going to be our day.

We performed much better after the interval, playing down the slope towards the allotment end of the ground, and thought we had taken the lead six minutes into the second period, when Leon McKenzie hooked the ball into the net, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

George Purcell came on and we piled on the pressure, with the home defence in disarray, as was evidenced when their goalkeeper rushed out of his area to leave George flattened on the ground, with a tackle that was worthy of an American football player!

It was also worthy of a yellow card, although many were calling for a red.

Purcell’s free kick hit a defender and went out for a corner, which led to further delays as George was booked and we introduced Saam Pishvaie as substitute.

The corner eventually came over a couple of minutes later, and Kenzer Lee’s shot was deflected onto the bar and out for another corner.

Both Styles and Lee lurked at the far post, Teddy Nesbitt sent the ball into the goalmouth and it was our captain who powered his header into the net for the only goal of the match.

Pishvaie has been with us for some time, but we had to wait for international clearance from his previous club. Earlier this season he played for Spanish club UD San Pedro (Málaga), before signing for Girona in January, and his clearance only came through a couple of weeks ago.

We remain third in the table, three points behind Maldon & Tiptree, and if we keep winning, we are guaranteed at least one home match in the play-offs, but we have to hope that Maldon drop points if we want to finish as runners up.

We have two crucial games coming up over Easter, starting at Bridge Avenue on Saturday with a visit from Phoenix Sports, who themselves are in a play-off position.

When we travelled to Phoenix in September, they were top of the table, and the result was a 1-1 draw, with our goal coming from JJ Da Cruz.

Our team on that day was markedly different from the one that took the field at Waltham Abbey last week, as only four of our starting line-up appeared in both matches.

On Easter Monday we travel to Aveley, who hope to play at their new ground next season. It is just off the Aveley by-pass but there seems to be still a lot of work required if they intend to start the new season at their new 3G home.

We beat Aveley in the FA Cup at the start of the season, with Abs Thompson scoring the only goal of the game. And we won 3-1 in our Christmas fixture, with two goals from McKenzie and another from Lee.

This match is likely to attract a much larger then usual crowd, as it is their last-ever match at Mill Field, and we expect to take our largest away following of the season to this one, which is always a popular match with our supporter.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Sports News

12 minutes ago

St Mary’s Lane club play final game of calendar year this weekend

42 minutes ago

Lisa Wilson spoke of her late son Tom’s decision to donate his organs this week as health secretary Jeremy Hunt launched a new opt-out plan in England, writes Lee Power.


Leyton Orient look to avoid an FA Trophy giant-killing when they visit Haringey Borough in the first round on Saturday.


London Raiders will wrap up for Christmas after playing Invicta in a back-to-back fixtures this weekend, writes Jacob Ranson.


England failed to cash in on centuries from Middlesex’s Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow as familiar problems persisted on a fluctuating second day in the third Ashes Test.


A superb solo goal from Sue Harwood saw Havering upset East Two South East leaders Canterbury at Campion.


O’Sullivan both powered and power-napped his way into the quarter-finals of the Dafabet Scottish Open, seeing off the challenges of Li Hang and Michael White.


Magnificent Martin J Ward crowned a great year by claiming the European super-featherweight title at Bethnal Green’s York Hall on Wednesday.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now