Bostik North: Hornchurch 3 Cheshunt 1
PUBLISHED: 16:58 16 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:01 16 December 2017
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Hornchurch returned to winning ways with success against Cheshunt at Bridge Avenue.
Urchins had seen a seven-game unbeaten run brought to an end at Canvey Island a week earlier, but two goals from George Purcell after Leon McKenzie’s opener saw them to the points.
Kyle Roberts sliced a chance wide for the visitors after only two minutes, but McKenzie then had an effort blocked after some good work by Brad Warner.
And Urchins took the lead on 10 minutes when Nathan Livings found Alex Bentley and his cross was superbly headed in by McKenzie for his ninth goal of the season.
Livings sent a good effort just wide soon after, before Kenzer Lee was booked on the quarter-hour mark.
And Montel Joseph produced a superb save to deny Warner at point blank range, before the Hornchurch striker was also shown a yellow card.
Urchins boss Jim McFarlane was forced into an early change on 35 minutes, as Lee made way for Elliot Styles, but his side maintained their lead before the break.
And the hosts doubled their advantage before the hour mark as all-time leading goal scorer Purcell struck, firing home when a throw-in was only half-cleared by the Ambers defence to claim his 13th goal of the campaign.
Livings made way for Sean Roberts just past the hour mark, having needed treatment moments earlier, and a quick Hornchurch break ended with Warner seeing a shot saved by Joseph on 67 minutes.
It was 3-0 soon after, though, as Purcell claimed his second goal of the afternoon, tapping in when Joseph parried McKenzie’s cross.
Olumide Oluwatimilehin dragged a shot wide with 12 minutes remaining, as Urchins looked to extend their lead further, while Warner fired over following a lovely run and cross from Mathias Fanimo, before making way for Theo Fairweather-Johnson.
And Cheshunt hit back three minutes from time as George Forrest ended Sam Mott’s hopes of another clean sheet, surging forward and shooting wide of the Urchins keeper.
It proved only a late consolation for the visitors, as Urchins maintained their firm hold on top spot, five points clear of Bowers with two games in hand.
Hornchurch: Mott, Bentley, Porter, Lee (Styles 35), Cooper, Oluwatimilehin, Fanimo, Livings (Roberts 61), McKenzie, Purcell, Warner (Fairweather-Johnson 81). Unused subs: Hursit, Chouman.