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Hornchurch held in FA Cup

PUBLISHED: 18:39 13 September 2014 | UPDATED: 18:39 13 September 2014

George Purcell has five goals in five games (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

George Purcell has five goals in five games (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

FA Cup: Hornchurch 1 East Thurrock 1

Former Hornchurch striker Lewis Smith netted the equaliser for East Thurrock in their FA Cup tie at Bridge Avenue (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Former Hornchurch striker Lewis Smith netted the equaliser for East Thurrock in their FA Cup tie at Bridge Avenue (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch face a midweek replay at Rookery Hill after being held to a draw by Ryman Premier Division rivals East Thurrock at Bridge Avenue.

Urchins got their noses in front through George Purcell, but the lead did not last long as former Hornhurch striker Lewis Smith levelled for Rocks.

And the home side saw a late Martin Tuohy effort hit the woodwork as honours finished even to set up a rematch on Tuesday.

The two sides had met in the competition last season, when Urchins won in a replay, and Purcell had the first chance of this tie, but saw a first-minute effort drift wide.

Tempers flare after a challenge on Hornchurch's Phil Starkey (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Tempers flare after a challenge on Hornchurch's Phil Starkey (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Michael Gilbey was too high at the other end for the visitors on eight minutes, but Urchins took the lead on 14 minutes when Tobi Joseph backheeled a cross into the path of Purcell, who sidefooted the ball past David Hughes.

Hornchurch’s joy was shortlived, as former Urchins favourite Smith saw his scuffed effort creep past Sam Mott to bring Rocks level five mintues later.

But the hosts went close to regaining their lead midway through the half as Joseph saw his attempt cleared off the line.

Starkey denied Smith just past the half-hour mark and Simon Peddie hooked the ball over from an East Thurrock corner on 38 minutes.

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane gives the thumbs up (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane gives the thumbs up (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

But Urchins had the final chance of the opening period as Purcell drove his shot over from 25 yards just before the break.

Jimmy McFarlane sent Courtney Homans on for Tom Davis within three minutes of the restart and Urchins went close on 56 minutes when Chris Bourne played a dangerous ball right across the face of goal.

The hosts then saw Purcell have a shot charged down, before Frankie Curley sent the rebound wide as the pressure mounted just past the hour.

But Rocks rallied midway through the half and Gilbey poked wide when the ball fell to him from a long throw-in.

Curley glanced the ball over from a Purcell corner on 70 minutes before McFarlane made his second change of the afternoon, sending Tuohy on for Joseph.

And the substitute was agonisingly close to putting the home side ahead after some great work by Bourne, but just could not connect with the goal at his mercy.

Bourne made another good run on the left on 79 minutes, but his cross was cut out by Rocks keeper Hughes this time.

And Urchins came within an inch of snatching victory on 88 minutes when Tuohy saw his overhead kick come back off a post, before Purcell saw the rebound deflected wide for a corner, which came to nothing.

The two sides will meet again on Tuesday, with £3,000 prize money going to the winners, who will learn who their second qualifying round opponents will be when the draw is made on Monday morning.

Hornchurch: Mott, Starkey, Bentley, Styles, Beckles, Curley, Luke, Davis (Homans 48), Joseph (Tuohy 72), Purcell, Bourne. Unused subs: Marshall-Katung, Dadson, Griffin, Chafer.

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