Happy New Year for Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 18:00 01 January 2015 | UPDATED: 18:00 01 January 2015

George Purcell was on target again for Hornchurch as they beat Grays (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

George Purcell was on target again for Hornchurch as they beat Grays (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

Ryman Premier: Hornchurch 2 Grays Athletic 0

Junior Luke was on target for Hornchurch against Grays (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Junior Luke was on target for Hornchurch against Grays (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch began 2015 with a welcome Ryman Premier Division win thanks to a quickfire double at Bridge Avenue.

Beaten 3-1 at Billericay on Boxing Day, ending a five-match unbeaten run, Urchins came out on top in their second Essex derby of the festive period thanks to second-half goals just four minutes apart from Junior Luke and George Purcell.

And victory lifted them two places in the table to 21st, ahead of their home meeting with Leatherhead on Saturday.

Purcell and Chris Bourne combined early on, but the latter’s cross was just beyond the reach of debutant Dominic Smith, who has joined on loan from League One side Colchester.

Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane (pic: Ray Lawrence/TGSPHOTO)Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane (pic: Ray Lawrence/TGSPHOTO)

Sam Mott was called into action on the quarter-hour mark to save from Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson and saw Freddie Ladapo hook his effort over the bar from a free-kick soon after.

Urchins saw Frankie Curley and Billy Roast booked in quick succession before Thomas Gogo’s corner found Purcell, whose shot was blocked midway through the first half.

Good work by Smith set up Curley for a curling effort, then went just wide on 34 minutes, before Purcell tested Connor Gough five minutes before the break.

Purcell went close to breaking the deadlock on 43 minutes when firing past Gough only to see the ball roll agonisingly wide of the target.

But the hosts had a let-off early in the second half when Grays struck the woodwork, before substitute Dumebi GB-Dumaka lifted the ball over when clear on 64 minutes.

Purcell was too high eight minutes later, but he turned provider with a quarter of an hour remaining with a through ball for Luke to outpace the Grays defence and fire past Gough for the opening goal.

And Urchins sealed the points on 79 minutes when Tobi Joseph found Purcell on the left and he sent his drive across the face of Gough and inside the far post.

Dumaka sent a chance wide as Grays looked to hit back and Urchins held on through four minutes of stoppage time for their third clean sheet in four outings.

Hornchurch: Mott, Coyne, Bourne, Styles, Roast, Curley, Luke, Gogo (Johnson 76), Smith (May 60), Purcell, Joseph. Unused subs: Marshall-Katung, Homans, Christou.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Romford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Romford Recorder