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Hornchurch prepare for another tough week after Grays Athletic triumph as they prepare to visit Leatherhead

PUBLISHED: 14:00 29 July 2016

George Purcell in action for Hornchurch. Pic: MARK HODSMAN/TGS PHOTO

George Purcell in action for Hornchurch. Pic: MARK HODSMAN/TGS PHOTO

Mark Hodsman/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Ryman North club have scored nine times in five pre-season matches so far this summer and have two more coming up in the next few days

Hornchurch continue their preparation for the new Ryman North campaign when they visit Leatherhead tomorrow (Saturday).

Jimmy McFarlane’s team will make the trip to Fetcham Grove to play their fifth pre-season match of the summer.

The Tanners finished 11th in the Ryman Premier last year and were 10th the campaign before that – when Urchins suffered relegation from the league after coming 23rd.

It will be another tough match for Hornchurch who also tested themselves against higher opposition on Wednesday evening.

Urchins made the short trip to Aveley’s Mill Field Stadium to take on local rivals Grays Athletic.

The Blues, managed by ex-Hornchurch midfielder Jamie Stuart, finished 15th in the Ryman Premier last season.

McFarlane used several trialists during the friendly encounter with Grays and the hosts played numerous players on trial as well for the game played in wet conditions.

It only took six minutes for a familiar Urchins name to break the deadlock, however, at Mill Field.

George Purcell drove past two home defenders before lashing in from a tight angle to give Hornchurch the lead.

They doubled their advantage two minutes later when George Woodward’s free kick was headed in by a trialist.

Elliot Styles made it 3-0 in the 34th minute, although prior to the third goal, Grays had hit the post and had an effort cleared off the line as they pressed to reduce the arrears.

McFarlane made several substitutions after the break and the hosts pulled a goal back to make it 3-1.

One of Hornchurch’s subs, Leon McKenzie, concluded a good night for Urchins by scoring a fine solo effort five minutes from time.

The comfortable success ensured they got back to winning ways after a 2-1 loss at Ryman South side Hythe Town on Saturday.

Several trialists were again used and McFarlane watched his team go behind after just four minutes.

Hythe led 1-0 at half time and started brightly after the restart and doubled their lead in the 48th minute before Hornchurch hit back.

Ricky Freeman reduced the arrears two minutes from time, but Urchins couldn’t find a second and tasted defeat for the first time so far in pre-season.

Next up for McFarlane’s squad is a clash with Leatherhead before they return to Bridge Avenue next Tuesday (August 2).

Bishop’s Stortford, of the National League South, make the trip to take on Hornchurch for a 7.45pm kick-off.

Tambeson Eyong signed for the Hertfordshire club during the summer and is likely to feature against Urchins.

Stortford faced Dagenham & Redbridge last weekend and suffered a 6-1 defeat with Eyong playing 72 minutes.


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