Hornchurch held to a draw with Merstham

PUBLISHED: 09:00 31 October 2018

Hornchurch striker George Purcell (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch striker George Purcell (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Bostik Premier Division: AFC Hornchurch 1 Merstham 1

Hornchurch ended their three game losing streak in the Bostik Premier Division as they were held to a 1-1 with Merstham due to an own goal in the 88th minute.

The Urchins looked set to bag the three points thanks to a goal from George Purcell in the 78th minute but a ball in from The Moatsiders substitute Walter Figueria was deflected in by Leon Smith to leave both side’s with a point at Bridge Avenue.

Manager Jimmy McFarlane made one change from the starting eleven who sealed a 6-0 win against Ramsgate in the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy with Leon McKenzie coming in for Nana Boakye-Yiadom.

It was a quiet opening ten minutes and the first real chance fell to the visitors when Kershaney Samuels tried his luck but it was comfortably held by goalkeeper Callum Chafer.

Eight minutes later Chafer was on hand again as he grabbed hold of a high chip from Tayshan Hayden-Smith after the ball was given away by defender Smith.

Merstham kept piling the pressure on as Fabio Saraiva crept in behind the Urchins midfield and then got played but his shot was stopped in the 26th minute.

In the 38th minute Calum Davies slid in and tried to get on the end of an incoming ball, but his slighest touch wasn’t enough to beat Chafer.

After a slow start the hosts finally came to life and George Purcell managed to curl a shot in from the left but sent it flying over the bar on the stroke of half-time.

The Urchins came out strong in the second-half with Purcell getting another chance as he drilled a shot on goal but keeper Amadou Tangara was equal to it.

Moments later Samuels sliced the ball on target for the Moatsiders after a good link up between him, Hayden-Smith and Davies but Chafer pulled off another save.

Purcell continued to work hard and drove a cross into the box that found the head of midfielder Lewwis Spence but the keeper denied him.

In the 62nd minute left-back Jay Porter made a great run down the left flank before firing a cross pitch wide to Bradley Warner.

The attacker cut in from the right and fired but his shot was blocked.

Twelve minutes later Chafer had to be strong to pull off a vital save to deny the visitors as they attempted to bundle the ball home from a corner.

Chafer and Merstham’s Simon Cooper both ended up down in discomfort with the later being carried off as he was unable to continue.

In the 78th minute, a minute after the restart Purcell fired the ball into the right side of the net after being played in by Porter to open the scoring.

The visitors substitute Figueria then started using his energy and almost connected with a cross in the 85th minute.

The forward then made a rapid run, whipped in a dangerous cross, which Smith slid into his own goal as he tried to stop it coming across the goal in the 88th minute.

Hornchurch: Chafer, Bentley, Lee, Smith, Porter, Clark (Hogan 60), Spence, Warner, Marks (Hursit 66), Purcell, McKenzie

Unused subs: Coker, Fairweather-Johnson

Merstham: Tangara, Cooper (Osborne 77), Harrison (Bird 73), Kavanagh, Cook, Hutchins, Samuels, Beaney, Davies (Figueira 54), Saraiva, Hayden-Smith

Unused subs: Sow and Henrique.

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