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Harlow ruin Purcell's big day

PUBLISHED: 09:31 31 January 2016 | UPDATED: 09:31 31 January 2016

George Purcell became Hornchurch's leading scorer with his 95th goal at Harlow (pic: Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO)

George Purcell became Hornchurch's leading scorer with his 95th goal at Harlow (pic: Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO)

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

Ryman North: Harlow Town 3 Hornchurch 1

George Purcell became the all-time leading goalscorer in the history of Hornchurch, but it could not prevent his side falling to defeat at the Harlow Arena.

Promotion-chasing Urchins went close to opening the scoring after only five minutes when Junior Luke saw his shot come back off the underside of the crossbar, but the visitors fell behind after 13 minutes as Junior Dadson beat Sam Mott.

Hot-shot Purcell levelled seven minutes later, picking himself up after being fouled in the box and firing home from the penalty spot for his 34th goal of the season and 95th career effort for Hornchurch, taking him past Alan Noonan’s near 40-year-old record of 94.

And Hornchurch went close to taking the lead when Luke sent an effort just wide inthe 26th minute, before Ibrahim Sonko headed wide from a corner at the other end.

Jed Chouman produced a vital block to deny Hawks moments later and Paul Goodacre’s last-ditch tackle also thwarted the home side.

Urchins rallied and David Knight picked out debutant Nicholas Brown, whose effort was saved.

But Hawks regained the lead four minutes before the interval through Mario Noto, who fired into the top corner of Mott’s net when a corner was only partially cleared.

Harlow sent an excellent chance wide from just 10 yards on 54 minutes, before Urchins boss Jimmy McFarlane made a pair of changes and replaced Billy Coyne and Purcell with Charlie Dove and Aaron Gayle, respectively.

Chouman had a shot saved as the visitors pushed for an equaliser and Luke fired just wide before Dadson sealed the points with his second and the home side’s third goal with nine minutes remaining, volleying home when Hornchurch failed to clear the danger.

Despite suffering only their sixth defeat of the season Urchins remain in second place six points behind leaders Sudbury, after they slumped to a 4-0 home defeat against Thurrock, who are behind Hornchurch on goal difference with three matches in hand.

Hornchurch: Mott, Coyne (Dove 62), Chouman, May, Cooper, Goodacre, Luke, Styles, Knight, Purcell (Gayle 70), Brown. Unused subs: McKenzie, Thompson.

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