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George gets another to equal Hornchurch record

PUBLISHED: 17:30 25 January 2016

George Purcell of Hornchurch celebrates after finding the net again (pic: Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO)

George Purcell of Hornchurch celebrates after finding the net again (pic: Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO)

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Alan Noonan’s record of 94 goals for Hornchurch has stood for 38 years. His first goal came in the 4-4 draw at Erith & Belvedere in September 1973 and his final goal for the club was in March 1978 in the 3-2 victory over Wembley at the Bridge, 231 matches later.

George Purcell’s first goal came in August 2013 when he scored in the 33rd minute when Hornchurch beat Cray Wanderers at the Bridge, and he added another in the second half. In the same match Elliot Styles scored one of his rare goals for the Urchins.

And Purcell equalled the record on Saturday when his free kick in the fourth minute against Soham Town Rangers sailed into the net via a deflection at the clubhouse end of the ground.

We have to wait a little longer for the record to be beaten, thanks to a miraculous save by Soham’s goalkeeper George Lawton in the second half.

In fact the Soham match was something of a nail biter. We expected Hornchurch to win comfortably after Purcell’s early goal, but the visitors, inspired by Luke Chadwick, gave everyone a few anxious moments.

That was until Junior Luke fired the winning goal midway through the second half, with what would normally be described as a ‘Purcell special’ had it been scored by George.

For every home match, we try to find as many connections between the visitors and ourselves, but we could not find any player who has played for both Hornchurch are Soham last Saturday. And there was only one previous match against Soham, in the FA Vase in 2005.

But on Tuesday, when Tilbury visit the Bridge, the first time since 2007, we found plenty of player connections – at least 96 players have turned out for both the Dockers and the Urchins.

Tilbury currently have Danny Glozier in their line up – Danny made 89 appearances for Hornchurch in his two seasons with us in 2006 and 2007.

Danny actually made one further appearance, in November 2011, when he played in one of our Capital League matches against Aveley. He was a Concord Rangers player at that time, but he played for Urchins at their request to get in some playing time following an injury.

Our Youth Alliance side are at home on Wednesday when they entertain Grays Athletic with a 2pm kick off. As usual, there is no charge for admission to these games and a free team sheet will be available.

On Friday, starting at 7.30 pm in the clubhouse, we hold another of our popular Quiz Nights, which is open to anyone who wishes to attend. Admission is £4 per person, and even if you do not have a team, you will be allocated to one on the night.

On Saturday the programmes given to us when the Romford Recorder moved offices to Barking proved to be quite an attraction, and one fortunate collector left with over fifty additions to his collection of Hornchurch home programmes. And another collector left with a large pile of old away programmes.

There were also a number of team sheets, and we were surprised to find one for our match against Purfleet from August 2004 - our first season in the Conference South.

Why were we surprised? Because we did not play Purfleet in that season, as they had changed their name to Thurrock at the end of the previous campaign. As many people even today still refer to them as Purfleet, perhaps it was not too big an error.

We have also been given a large quantity of speedway programmes, mainly from the old Romford speedway at Brooklands, and these are also now available in the club shop. And one very delighted collector also found a programme of Romford v Oxford City from 1948 in the club shop.

After Tilbury, we have two matches on the road - on Saturday we travel to Harlow Town in a top-of-the-table match on their 3G surface, and then we go back to Maldon & Tiptree three days later, having been rained off there a few weeks ago.

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