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Hornchurch pick up dominant victory against Soham Town on opening day

PUBLISHED: 16:54 12 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:48 12 August 2017

George Purcell (centre) is congratulated by his Hornchurch team-mates after finding the back of the net (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

George Purcell (centre) is congratulated by his Hornchurch team-mates after finding the back of the net (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

©TGS Phototgsphoto.co.uk+44 1376 553468

AFC Hornchurch 3 Soham Town Rangers 0

Hornchurch got their Bostik North campaign off to a flying start asthey sealed a 3-0 victory against Soham Town Rangers on the opening day of the season.

Brad Warner, George Purcell and substitute Ross Wall inspired the hosts to three points with a goal apiece in a dominant performance in their first home match of the season at Bridge Avenue.

Hornchurch captain Elliot Styles led his side out for his 500th appearance for the club and it was his side who got the first chance of the match as Theo Fairweather-Johnson and Purcell linked up well, eventually Purcell picking out the winger, who had his shot cleared off the line inside the first minute.

Seconds later Fairweather-Johnson hit the side netting after chasing a loose ball and trying his luck from close range.

It didn’t take the hosts long to get off the mark as a long ball was chased down by Warner and his hard work won him possession and he curled a shot into the top left corner to make it 1-0.

Hornchurch continued to look dangerous as Fairweather-Johnson got his head onto a long ball, knocking it down for striker Purcell, who went through on goal but was tipped away by the visitor’s goalkeeper Joshua Pope.

Leon McKenzie also went close, but couldn’t get enough on the ball, after danger-man Fairweather-Johnson picked him out in the box.

Neither side created much in the next 15 minutes as both teams were cutting out passes in the middle of the park.

With five minutes left in the first half, captain Styles went in hard for a tackle and Soham were awarded a free-kick.

The free-kick from 25 yards out cannoned into the head of Fairweather-Johnson, who went down in some discomfort.

Three minutes later Purcell went on a great run and his shot was tipped wide for a corner.

The play went straight back down the other end and Sam Mott was called into action as he denied Daniel Hobbs, who cut into the box from the right side and fired a shot on target.

Soham began the second half on the front foot with a few corners in the first five minutes and a great run from winger Joe Carden, but they couldn’t find the target with any of their attempts.

The visitors were piling on the pressure and went close once again, this time through Lewis Clayton, who headed the ball just over the ball in the 54th minute.

Five minutes later Purcell could have extended his side’s lead as captain Styles headed the ball into the path of the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, who blasted a shot over the bar, as he broke into the box.

Purcell picked up a yellow card a minute after his chance as he went in hard and gave Soham a free-kick, which fell to Carden, whose right foot shot beat Mott, but cannoned back off the post.

The winger got another shot off soon after, but this time Mott denied him from close range.

Hornchurch’s Purcell got hold of the ball and made a great run down the left flank, before picking out Warner with a cross, which he poked wide of the post.

Substitute Ross Wall was brought down just outside the box as he went up for a header in the 71st minute and Purcell made it 2-0 to the hosts as he converted the free-kick with an excellent shot.

Six minutes from time Hornchurch extended their lead further as Wall headed home another Purcell free-kick from close range to secure all three points in style.

Urchins return to action on Wednesday when they visit rivals Grays.

Hornchurch: Mott, Hursit, Lee, Cooper, Porter, Bentley, Styles, Fairweather-Johnson, Warner (Chouman 88), McKenzie (Wall 67), Purcell (Joseph 86).

Unused subs: Tuohy, Goodacre.

Soham Town: Pope, Buddle, Gardner, Norman, Endacott, Hobbs (Bankole 79), Russell, Clayton, Allan, Tricks (Hall 72), Carden.

Unused subs: Maina, Mochalski, Conway.

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