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Bostik North: Hornchurch 2 Aveley 1

PUBLISHED: 07:45 21 April 2018 | UPDATED: 07:45 21 April 2018

Celebrations at the final whislte as Hornchurch are crowned champions (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Celebrations at the final whislte as Hornchurch are crowned champions (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

An injury-time goal from George Purcell allowed champions Hornchurch to celebrate in style at Bridge Avenue on Friday.

Aveley Players applaud champions Hornchurch onto the pitch with a guard of honour (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)Aveley Players applaud champions Hornchurch onto the pitch with a guard of honour (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Connor Hogan put Urchins ahead in their last home match of the season in the 11th minute, but Garrett Kelly got Aveley back on terms in the final quarter.

And it looked like ending in a draw, until Purcell popped up with a winner to take Hornchurch’s points tally into three figures before the trophy was presented to the squad.

After a Purcell shot was blocked on five minutes and a Jamie Hursit cross went across the goal without anyone being able to get a touch, the hosts struck when Hogan headed home a Purcell corner at the near post

Aveley rarely threatened, apart from a corner that did not trouble the defence, and their best chance came on 20 minutes when Sam Mott had to race out of his area to kick clear from former Romford striker Tom Richardson.

Connor Hogan of Hornchurch scores and celebrates (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)Connor Hogan of Hornchurch scores and celebrates (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

A Brad Warner free-kick came to nothing and he also saw a corner cleared, before going on a solo run across field and towards goal, only to be crowded out.

Richardson went close for Aveley with a long-range shot that took a deflection behind, while at the other end Purcell made a good run, but was tackled by Alex Stephenson.

Purcell opened up the Millers defence with a fine pass to Warner, but he was unable to control the bounce of the ball, and the chance was lost.

Hornchurch went close to increasing their lead two minutes into the second half, when Purcell took a free-kick 10 yards outside the area, only for Rhys Madden to make an excellent save.

Garrett Kelly scores for Aveley (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)Garrett Kelly scores for Aveley (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

And when Warner was fouled in a similar position, Purcell’s hard free-kick cannoned back off the defensive wall.

On the hour Warner just failed to get onto the end of a Theo Fairweather-Johnson cross, and when Garrett Kelly was shown a yellow card for a foul, the resultant free-kick went begging across the face of the visiting goal.

Fairweather-Johnson headed over from Alex Bentley’s centre, before Aveley drew level on 71 minutes when the ball was played towards the far post from the right and Kelly headed home from close range.

Hornchurch pressed forward, and both Purcell and Fairweather-Johnson went close, and an Olu Oluwatimilehin shot beat the defence but went wide of the goal.

George Purcell celebrates his late winner for Hornchurch (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)George Purcell celebrates his late winner for Hornchurch (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

A solo run by Purcell ended with his shot going wide, but as the match went into stoppage time Fairweather-Johnson gained possession and slipped the ball inside to Hornchurch’s all-time record goalscorer and he screwed his shot past Madden to win it.

In the third minute of stoppage time Kenzer Lee was replaced by Jed Chouman, making his first appearance in four months, and Hornchurch had little difficulty in playing out the remaining time to take their points total to 101 for the season.

Hornchurch: Mott, Hursit, Bentley, Lee (Chouman 90+3), Cooper, Styles, Hogan, Livings (Oluwatimilehin 80), Fairweather-Johnson, Purcell, Warner (McKenzie 73). Unused subs: Roberts, Collis.

Attendance: 328.

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