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George Purcell believes Hornchurch can win at Harlow Town in Ryman North play-off final

PUBLISHED: 10:00 01 May 2016

George Purcell celebrates scoring the first goal for Hornchurch against Thurrock in their Ryman North play-off (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

George Purcell celebrates scoring the first goal for Hornchurch against Thurrock in their Ryman North play-off (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

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

Hornchurch forward George Purcell believes they can beat Harlow Town today (Sunday) and earn promotion to the Ryman Premier.

After suffering relegation in the 2014/15 campaign, Urchins are one win away from going back up at the first time of asking.

They reached the Ryman North play-off final after beating Thurrock 2-0 in the semi-final on Wednesday night.

Purcell opened the scoring from the penalty spot to ensure Jimmy McFarlane’s men reached the final of another play-off.

In the 2013/14 campaign, they were one victory away from reaching the Conference South, now named National League South, but lost at Lowestoft Town.

Urchins were missing numerous key players that day, but are confident they can win against the Hawks this afternoon.

“Last time we lost 3-0 against Lowestoft and we were dreadful all game, but we had a few problems back then,” said Purcell.

“This year I think if we play like we did in the first half against Thurrock, we won’t have a problem.”

A key battle will be Purcell and strike partner David Knight up against Harlow’s dangerous duo Alex Read and Junior Dadson.

Hornchurch’s forward have more goals in the Ryman North this season with a combined total of 54 after Wednesday night.

Even though Read and Dadson scored for Hawks in their 3-0 win over Harlow during the week - that only takes them to 51.

Purcell added: “All season ‘Knighty’ and I have been the same, we’ve been passing it together and when we first come in people said we wouldn’t get on.

“But I can tell you now we’ve not had one argument all year so it’s been brilliant. I like playing with him.

“He’s not greedy and I pass to him, it’s a really good partnership and I just hope we can score some goals in the final now.”

Urchins will have to deal with playing on an artificial pitch this afternoon and did lose at Harlow earlier in the season.

While Purcell admits he does prefer playing on grass, he remains confident that Hornchurch can get the job completed.

He said: “I personally don’t like the 3G, I think they are rubbish. When we played there earlier in the season, both my knees were hurting and I couldn’t train for a week after.

“I think there is nothing better than playing on grass. Harlow have the advantage of playing on it all the time, but we’ll have to see and I think we’ll be alright.”

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