Hornchurch win ‘game of two halves’

PUBLISHED: 09:36 25 August 2013 | UPDATED: 09:36 25 August 2013

George Purcell of Hornchurch (10) scores the winning goal against Lowestoft and celebrates with teammates (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

George Purcell of Hornchurch (10) scores the winning goal against Lowestoft and celebrates with teammates (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/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 Premier: Hornchurch 2 Lowestoft 1

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane admitted it was a game of two halves after watching his side come from behind at half-time to beat Lowestoft at a rain-soaked Bridge Avenue.

A superb solo effort by Chris Henderson gave the visitors the lead before the Urchins equalised through a Stuart Ainsley own goal.

George Purcell’s 90th-minute penalty then secured a first home win of the season for Urchins and a delighted McFarlane said: “I’m highly delighted to beat one of the favourites.

“I am not a cliché man but that was a game of two halves.

“We were bitterly disappointed with the first half, we never got going, never passed the ball and kept kicking it long.

“We changed a few things at half-time, said a few words and the greatest feeling as a manager is that they responded.

“When you’ve got players like George Purcell and it isn’t their day, you ask them to work hard.

“Second half he was a real handful and then to take a penalty in the 90th minute [showed a lot of character].”

The game started poorly and the entertainment value was summed up midway through the first half with fans trying to get a radio signal for the Premier League scores.

Goalmouth action was to come, but unfortunately for Hornchurch fans it was Lowestoft who took the lead in the 36th minute.

Henderson picked the ball up on the halfway line and surged towards the Urchins goal before firing past Inigo Echepare from the edge of the area.

Rain lashed down during the interval and the players kicked off the second period in horrendous conditions but that didn’t stop Hornchurch flying out the blocks.

Urchins equalised after just three second-half minutes thanks to an own goal as Alex Bentley crossed in and Ainsley, under pressure from winger Chris Bourne, diverted past his own keeper to score Hornchurch’s first home goal of the season.

Purcell had two good opportunities to put Urchins ahead but failed to find the net as the home side started to control the game, under the influence of the impressive Frankie Curley.

With time running out, Curley played Bourne in down the right and the winger drove into the box before being fouled.

After consulting with his linesman, referee Sam Purkiss pointed to the spot, with Purcell slotting home to move Hornchurch up to sixth in the Ryman Premier table ahead of their trip to Billericay on Bank Holiday Monday.

Hornchurch: Echepare, Coyne, Bentley, Hayles, Styles, Curley, Duncan, May (Glover 90), Yusuff (Rook 73), Purcell (Spencer 90), Bourne.

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