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Bostik Premier: Leatherhead 1 Hornchurch 2

PUBLISHED: 17:03 23 February 2019

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

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

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Hornchurch overcame the early sending-off of striker George Purcell to claim a superb win at Fetcham Grove oon Saturday.

Lewwis Spence of Hornchurch (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Lewwis Spence of Hornchurch (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Only 10 minutes had been played when Purcell was shown a straight red card for kicking out at a home player, after losing the ball.

The home side took the lead soon after when a driving run into the box by Charlie Hester-Cook set up a chance for Travis Gregory, who made no mistake from close range.

But Urchins went close just two minutes later when Joe Christou found Lewwis Spence, whose shot on the turn was pushed behind for a corner.

And the visitors were back on terms from the set-piece as Kenzer Lee headed the ball across the six-yard box and Charlie Stimson maintained his fine form with the equaliser.

Hornchurch went close to taking the lead on 27 minutes when Christou played the ball through for Stimson, who beat a defender and fired past Zaki Oualah, but saw his shot come back off a post.

Gregory saw a diving header fly just wide at the other end, then had another effort from distance saved by Callum Chafer after Alex Bentley volleyed wide following Christou’s long throw-in.

But Urchins were grateful to a fantastic save from Chafer to push away Shaun Okojie’s effort six minutes before the break and Daniel Gallagher sliced another attempt wide from 20 yards for the hosts before half time.

Chafer saved again from Okojie four minutes after the restart, while Urchins saw a free-kick come to nothing with their first chance of the second half.

The visitors took the lead midway through the half, though, as Ronnie Winn burst down the left and crossed for Spence, who controlled the ball and fired home.

But Leatherhead applied pressure, with Hester-Cook to the fore, and substitute Steven Sardinha saw a free-kick drift just wide with four minutes remaining.

Lee produced a great headed clearance to deny the hosts moments later and, along with Glenn Wilson, made other timely interventions to protect Hornchurch’s lead in the closing stages.

Hornchurch: Chafer, Bentley, Sutton, Wilson, Lee, Clark, Christou (Dutton 89), Spence, Stimson, Purcell, R Winn. Unused sub: Goode.

Attendance: 374.

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