Hornchurch held by Met Police in friendly

PUBLISHED: 06:22 17 July 2016 | UPDATED: 06:23 17 July 2016

David Knight netted Hornchurch's first goal of pre-season (pic: George Phillipou/TGSPHOTO)

David Knight netted Hornchurch's first goal of pre-season (pic: George Phillipou/TGSPHOTO)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Met Police 2 Hornchurch 2

Hornchurch mananer Jimmy McFarlane (pic; George Phillipou)Hornchurch mananer Jimmy McFarlane (pic; George Phillipou)

Hornchurch had to settle for a share of the spoils in their opening pre-season friendly after an entertaining match with Met Police, on an excellent pitch, on a very hot day.

Urchins started strongly, with Abs Thompson racing along the wing and winning a free-kick, which found David Knight, whose close-range shot was well saved by Max Hucker.

Both teams were guilt of conceding free kicks in dangerous positions early in the match and the hosts hit a post, while George Purcell fired his attempt over the bar.

The visitors had the better of the territorial play, though, and when Purcell played Knight through the middle, Hucker had to race from his line to smother the danger.

However, Hornchurch took the lead on the half-hour mark when Purcell played an excellent pass to Knight, who lobbed the ball over Hucker from a narrow angle.

And Knight went close again after good build-up play involving Thompson and the impressive Will King, but Hucker denied him once more.

The second half was barely a minute old when Thompson made a penetrating run on the right and his cross found Purcell, who took the ball on the volley but directed his shot too high.

Hucker denied Knight for the third time when the Hornchurch striker was again through the middle one-on-one, while at the other end, Callum Chafer had little to do, apart from field two crosses from the right wing.

The Police drew level on 59 minutes, though, when Etman Hislett neatly finished off a cross from close range.

And the hosts missed two more chances, on both occasions being let down by erratic finishing, before Ricky Freeman saw his cross-shot cleared off the line.

The Police took the lead when a penalty was awarded and Rob Bartley fired the spot-kick past Chafer.

But three minutes later it was Hornchurch’s turn to be awarded a penalty as Jason Dobson was brought down in the area and Freeman crashed the ball hard into the net to level the score.

Hornchurch are due to send a side to Essex Senior League outfit Southend Manor on Monday night, before a trip to Oakside to face Redbridge on Wednesday.

Other pre-season fixtures include a trip to Hythe Town (July 23), a clash with Grays at Aveley (July 27) and away match at Leatherhead (July 30), before home meetings with Bishop’s Stortford (August 2) and Billericay (Friday, August 5).

Jimmy McFarlane’s men begin their Ryman North campaign with a derby against Romford at Ship Lane on August 13 and will be keen to set the record straight after losing both local battles last season.

Hornchurch: Chafer, King (Martin 56), Woodward (Piper 71), Bentley (Quincey 78), Da Cruz, Symons (Collis 46), Thompson (Dobson 59), Dove (Suley 46), Knight (Freeman 53), Purcell (Kone 65), Brown.

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