George Purcell nets brace to earn Ryman North outfit Hornchurch pre-season win over Essex Senior League side Redbridge

George Purcell in action for Hornchurch. Pic: MARK HODSMAN/TGS PHOTO

George Purcell in action for Hornchurch. Pic: MARK HODSMAN/TGS PHOTO - Credit: Mark Hodsman/TGSPHOTO

Pre-season friendly: Redbridge 0 Hornchurch 2

Two goals from George Purcell earned Hornchurch their first win of pre-season against local rivals Redbridge last night.

Urchins made the trip to the Ford Sports Ground in Aldborough Road South after swapping from the original Oakside venue.

Jimmy McFarlane’s team kicked off at 7pm in bright sunshine with temperatures of 32 degrees and a strong cross field wind.

Any ideas that Hornchurch were going to have a leisurely stroll against an Essex Senior League side was quickly dispelled when the Motormen nearly scored twice in the opening five minutes.

Urchins began to step up the pace afterwards, although Redbridge were battling well despite the tough conditions.

The first clear cut chance for McFarlane’s men occurred just before half an hour had been played when David Knight turned sharply.

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He forced an excellent stop from the home goalkeeper before Hornchurch nearly opened the scoring again.

Knight sent Purcell away on the left and he crossed in for Abs Thompson, but the ball bobbled and it remained goalless.

Just as the referee was about to blow for half time, Urchins’ all-time leading goalscorer broke the deadlock.

Purcell turned on the edge of the area and fired into the net to give McFarlane’s side a 1-0 lead at the break.

Sam Mott replaced Callum Chafer at half time with Nathan Cooper taking the place of Charlie Dove.

After just seven minutes of the second period, Purcell smashed against the post before Elliot Styles fired wide from a Dave Collis corner.

In the 65th minute Hornchurch’s number 10 completed his brace when he finished off a cross from close range.

Ousmane Kone replaced Knight afterwards and the closest Urchins came to making it 3-0 was when Cooper hit the bar from another Collis set peace.

Although the temperature dropped to around 27 degrees, no further goals occurred, but it was a good work out for both teams.

Hornchurch: Chafer (Mott 46), Bentley, Styles, Da Cruz, Woodward, Collis, Symons, Dove (Cooper 46), Thompson (King 70), Knight (Kone 66), Purcell.

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