Purcell inspires more Hornchurch success but Joseph suffers serious injury
PUBLISHED: 20:02 05 December 2015 | UPDATED: 20:02 05 December 2015
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Ryman North: Hornchurch 3 Bury Town 0
Hornchurch scored three first half goals in 10 minutes to comfortably overcome Bury Town 3-0 in the Ryman North as Urchins bounced back from defeat at Thurrock during the week.
The game was, however, marred by an extremely unpleasant incident five minutes before the end at Bridge Avenue when Tobi Joseph suffered what appeared to be a serious broken leg.
The encounter started evenly with neither side able to produce many moments of real quality with the windy conditions.
Urchins eventually began to dominate play, resulting in the first genuine attempt on goal after 12 minutes.
A telling cross from full-back Alex Bentley on the left flank found David Knight just outside the six yard box and his flicked header hit the inside of the post before rolling tantalisingly across the face of goal.
The intensity of the game was clear to see when both managers let their feelings be known as referee Nick Cooper made a series of contentious decisions.
With much of the play restricted to the midfield third, the opening goal came as something of a surprise when Joey May’s skilfully drilled corner was met by captain Elliot Styles, who heading home well to the keeper’s right in the 24th minute.
The goal seemed to spur Hornchurch with the quality of the home side’s play improving dramatically and they didn’t have to wait long before doubling their lead, May once again playing a pivotal role on 31 minutes.
His long delivery from just beyond the halfway line looked to be heading safely into the hands of Neil O’Sullivan, but he fumbled the ball into the path of in-form striker George Purcell.
Purcell then rounded the Bury Town keeper with minimal effort before calmly rolling the ball into the gaping goalmouth.
And only two minutes later, Hornchurch had another when a defensive header from a May corner fell straight into the path of the lurking Purcell on the edge of the area.
His laced effort rocketed brilliantly into the back of the net via the underside of the bar leaving the home fans delirious - the strike of a man who is clearly brimming with confidence.
The half ended with a flurry of chances for the visitors, first when Noel Aitkens cross found Cemal Ramadan completely unmarked in front of goal, but he could only put his header wide.
The Bury Town striker was in behind the defence shortly afterwards and forced a smart save out of Sam Mott at the near post, who had been entirely untroubled up to that point.
The restart began with Hornchurch on the front foot and they should have extended their lead even further when Purcell’s cross found Knight in front of goal, but his effort was prevented by the onrushing Tobi Jospeh who managed to get caught up with his teammate.
An unnecessary foul from Joseph gave a free-kick away to the away side as play began to settle down and Ramadan’s shot crept just narrowly wide, exemplifying the side’s inability to get shots on target.
A speculative ball over the top then found Purcell in space and he made light of several tackles before snatching at his best chance for a hat-trick, the ball sailing high and wide onto the athletics track.
Then it was Knight’s turn as he beat the offside trap and cut inside the tired Bury Town defence only to see his shot heroically blocked.
But the game ended with the moment that is bound to detract from the result as Phil Weavers put in a dangerous two footed lunge on Tobi Jospeh in the centre circle.
It lead to a straight red card for the away captain and what is almost certainly a broken leg for the Urchin’s winger.
The incident, five minutes before full time, left many of the players, including Weavers, visibly shaken and took the energy out of the five remaining minutes.
Urchins challenge for the title continues when they travel to Heybridge Swifts next weekend, but the team look set to be without Joseph for the foreseeable future.
Hornchurch: Mott, Coyne, Bentley, May, Cooper, Goodacre, Luke, Styles (c), Knight, Purcell, Joseph (Thompson 90).
Unused substitutes: McKenzie, Poku, Dove Chouman.