Pre-season: Bury Town 3 Hornchurch 1
PUBLISHED: 21:32 04 August 2018 | UPDATED: 21:32 04 August 2018
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Hornchurch concluded their pre-season build-up with a disappointing defeat at Bury Towns, where the temperature was again edging towards heatwave proportions as the thermometer showed 26 degrees, and rising, at kick off.
Urchins looked confident as they came forward, with George Saunders particularly impressive, and he almost created the opening goal with a cross from the wing that just eluded Sean Marks.
Bury did not threaten the Hornchurch defence, the closest being a shot from Ryan Gibbs which did not trouble Callum Chafer.
And Hornchurch took the lead on 16 minutes, when Saunders gained possession close to the touchline on the left, cut inside and sent in an incredible shot that curled over Luis Tibbles and into the net.
Saunders continued to taunt the home defence, with a hard volley that skimmed the post, and then forced a fine save from Tibbles, after Marks had laid the ball back.
Bury came more into the match and a fine run by Ryan Gibbs ended with his cross-cum-shot going across the face of the goal, and shortly afterwards Chafer did well to punch away a dangerous free kick by Jake Chambers-Shaw.
Back at the other end, a Saunders shot went narrowly over, but, as half time approached, Ryan Jolland was allowed too much room in midfield and the ball was eventually floated into the goalmouth, where Ryan Stafford provided the finishing touch.
Hornchurch continued to press at the start of the second half, with a Saunders free kick finding Kenzer Lee, whose shot was well saved, and a Jay Porter shot from long range being deflected for a corner.
Then it was time for changes, as substitutes came on at regular intervals, and the pattern of the game began to change, with Bury having much more of the play.
Tibbles was in action, saving a Marks shot from close range, and then saving from Tobi Coker, but the pattern of play changed on 59 minutes when Nathan Cooper handled, and referee Ollie Morris-Sanders pointed the spot.
After a short delay when Cooper was booked for disputing the decision, Jolland put Bury ahead with the penalty.
Bury now had the better of the play, but with neither side really threatening, and the closest Hornchurch came to drawing level was a shot by George Purcell that Tibbles saved comfortably.
Four minutes from time came a second penalty, this time conceded by Lewwis Spence, and Jolland again stepped up, but his shot came back off the post.
Hornchurch rallied briefly, with Theo Fairweather-Johnson going close, but in the final minute Bury added a third with a long range shot from Ryan Yallop that seemed to deceive Chafer, with the ball curling in flight and finding the net.
Hornchurch: Chafer, Porter, Bentley (Coker 52), Lee (Hursit 52), Cooper, Clark (Hogan 70), McKenzie (Purcell 77), Spence, Marks, Saunders, Livings (Fairweather-Johnson 73).