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Share of the spoils for Romford and Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 15:15 28 July 2013 | UPDATED: 15:33 28 July 2013

Inigo Echepare of Hornchurch punches clear from Tom Richardson of Romford with  Urchins skipper Elliot Styles also involved. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Inigo Echepare of Hornchurch punches clear from Tom Richardson of Romford with Urchins skipper Elliot Styles also involved. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Pre-season friendly: Romford 1 Hornchurch 1

Hornchurch and Romford played out a 1-1 draw at Ship Lane yesterday afternoon and although it may have been classed as a friendly fixture, it was played with the competitive spirit you would expect in a cup final.

Neither side wanted to give an inch in a closely-contested first half where clear-cut chances were at a premium. Tackles flew in from both sets of players from the off and it only took seven minutes before we saw the opening goal.

Hornchurch’s new signing George Purcell opening the scoring - his third goal of pre-season - with a low-drilled effort from 20-yards-out.

The goal came directly from a free-kick, which Chris Bourne won after Romford skipper Paul Clayton had fouled him on the edge of the area.

It wasn’t the first effort of the game however, as Boro’s Joe Oates had a dipping volley from 12 yards out that had Urchins new Spanish keeper Inigo worried, but fortunately for him, it landed on the roof of the net.

Up until the 25th minute, tackles had overshadowed the quality of play but this was until James Ishmail done his best David Luiz impression with an astonishing clearance off the line.

Urchins midfielder Joey May played in Carl Rook, he lobbed the ball over Boro keeper Aaron Omand but from nowhere Ishmail acrobatically bicycle kicked the ball off the line and away to safety to keep the scoreline at 1-0.

Romford ended the half with a terrific spell of possession, playing the ball out from the back before George Woodward had a weak shot saved, but it was Hornchurch that started the second period stronger, Purcell shooting just wide, minutes into the half.

Then eight minutes into the second period, Boro equalised. Portuguese trialist Leandro Armaro played a lovely cross field pass towards Kurt Smith, his cross was blocked by the hands of Billy Coyne and Oates easily dispatched the penalty to make it 1-1.

Hornchurch regrouped well after the goal with substitute Michael Spencer looking increasingly threatening on the left.

It was Spencer who had the next best opportunity, after a powerful run by fellow substitute Tambeson Eyong, the ball broke to Hornchurch’s left winger but his shot smashed into the set netting from 16 yards out.

Romford nearly went ahead 15 minutes from time after a swift flowing move. Oates played a wonderful 50-yard pass into Smith’s path. He crossed in first time towards Tom Richardson but his header went just over the bar.

Both sides enjoyed dominant spells in the second half but with frequent substitutions the game petered out towards the end, although both managers would have taken a great deal out of the game.

It was a good test for both teams as they prepare for the start of their Ryman League season, which begins on August 10.

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