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Bad week for Hornchurch in their title push

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 January 2018

George Purcell (centre) and Alex Bentley of Hornchurch speak to the referee in their 1-0 defeat to Barking (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

George Purcell (centre) and Alex Bentley of Hornchurch speak to the referee in their 1-0 defeat to Barking (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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Albert Levett scores Barking's winner against Hornchurch and celebrates with his team mates (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Albert Levett scores Barking's winner against Hornchurch and celebrates with his team mates (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

It was not a good weekend - We travelled to Dereham on Saturday, wondering if the match would be going ahead, after heavy overnight rain.

As it happened, Dereham was relatively dry, just an intermittent drizzle, although the pitch was very heavy, leaving our kit man to wash an extremely muddy kit.

In two previous matches at Dereham we did not let in a goal, and we kept up the tradition on Saturday, again keeping a clean sheet, but we could not get the ball in the net at the other end, so the match ended goalless.

Our debutant Chris Assombalonga did poke the ball over the line after the Dereham goalkeeper dropped the ball when he collided with one of his own players, but the referee awarded a free kick to Dereham.

The home keeper made four excellent saves to deny Hornchurch, and we had a touch of total farce in the final minute of normal time, when Tobi Joseph was brought down on the edge of the area.

The referee had what can best be described as extreme difficulty in pacing out ten yards.

His first attempt ended when he got up to eight paces, and after trying in vain to get the defensive wall to get back the requisite distance, he then paced it out again - with the large Hornchurch following helpfully counting the paces with him - and this time he stopped at nine paces, decided that enough was enough and ordered the free kick to be taken, some ninety seconds after the offence had occurred.

Brad Warner took the free kick, and the keeper made another excellent save, so we had to be satisfied with one point.

It poured with rain for over seven hours over the weekend and we wondered if our home match against Barking would be played, It was, and we wished it wasn’t, as we once again got the Tuesday Night Blues and lost by the only goal of the game, in what, for Hornchurch, was an awful performance, when we simply could not cope with the strong downfield wind.

Barking had just two shots on target and they scored with one of them, and that was the difference between the two teams.

We still hold a seven points lead in the table over our nearest challengers, but we cannot afford to keep on dropping points, especially in our home games.

On Saturday we entertain another Norfolk club, Norwich Utd.

Since they came up from the Eastern Counties League we have played them on three occasions, and have yet to concede a goal.

We won by the only goal of the game in our match at Norwich last season, David Knight being our scorer.

In the return match Martin Tuohy scored both our goals in a two nil win, and this season we won by a similar margin at Norwich in September, with Nathan Cooper and Kenzer Lee getting the goals.

In the league, Norwich have won five and drawn eleven of their 28 matches, but they have only lost one of their last ten matches, winning three and drawing six of those games.

In their last match they drew 3-3 against Tilbury, and are unbeaten since early December, all of which suggests that they are in a false position in the league.

This is a match we want to win, if only to preserve our seven points lead at the top of the table.

So - no more slip-ups.

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