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The Hornchurch blog

PUBLISHED: 08:00 12 January 2019

George Purcell opened the scoring for Hornchurch against Brentwood on Tuesday (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

George Purcell opened the scoring for Hornchurch against Brentwood on Tuesday (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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

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We had two matches over the past week, starting with Dorking Wanderers in a league encounter.

We missed chances in the first half, then fell behind midway through the second period and it seemed as though we were going to be empty handed, until George Saunders sent a cross over from the right in the final minute, and the visiting keeper could only help it into the net for the equaliser.

We expected an easier time against Brentwood in the Essex Senior Cup on Tuesday, but it turned out to be a tale of many penalties.

George Purcell put us ahead on the half-hour from the spot, and Brentwood equalised, also from a penalty, 15 minutes from time.

And so it went straight to a penalty shoot-out.

The Essex Senor Cup was at one time a very important competition, with the matches being played on a Saturday and taking precedence over league games, with crowds that are simply unthinkable today.

In 1949, incredible as it might seem now, the Barking v Romford final, which went to extra time and a replay, attracted over 22.000 spectators to the two matches.

Interest is now minimal, to the extent that only 103 paid to watch our game against Brentwood, and there is no longer extra time, nor replays, and matches are now relegated to midweek obscurity.

So on Tuesday it was all down to a shoot-out against Brentwood and both sides scored their first two penalties and we scored our third.

Brentwood’s next effort hit the bar, so it was all down to the fourth penalty. We scored, but Brentwood’s attempt went sailing over the bar. So we are now away to Chelmsford City in the semi-final.

Over the last few days, three players have been released from the club in Nathan Livings, Connor Hogan and Nana Boakye-Yiadom.

Nathan joined us from Harlow Town in December 2017, making his debut against Maldon & Tiptree, and last season he scored two goals in 22 appearances.

He made a further 13 appearances this season, scoring once against Canvey Island, in a match that was initially a pre-season friendly, until it was changed at the last minute into the Charity Shield.

Connor joined us from Aveley in February 2018 and made his debut against Haringey Borough. Last season he scored two goals in eight appearances, and this season he scored one goal in his 23 appearances.

Nana made his debut appearance in September against East Grinstead, and scored three goals in his 16 appearances, which included the fastest ever goal scored for Hornchurch, when he opened the score against Ramsgate after just 21 seconds.

News of a few other players - Theo Fairweather-Johnson scored for Ashford United on Saturday in their 4-0 win over VCD Athletic and there seems to be quite a colony of ex-Urchins at Ashford, as, in addition to Theo, they have Usman Adeniji, Sam Mott, Bode Anidugbe and Mohammed Kamara.

Chris Assombalonga has returned to his old club, Waltham Abbey, and he scored on his debut for them.

Also at Waltham Abbey, Billy Holland and Michael Spencer have been appointed as joint managers, until the end of the season.

Bowers & Pitsea have Brad Warner back in their line-up, together with David Knight, who has so far scored 22 goals this season, as Bowers head the table, three points ahead of Heybridge Swifts.

Coggeshall Town have five of our ex-players in their squad in Dexter Peter, who played in our pre-season matches, Ross Wall, Sam Bantick, Ayrton Coley, and Nnamdi Nwachuku, or “Dave’ as our supporters called him.

Coggeshall are currently in a play-off position, with Bantick leading their leading scorer, on 14 goals, two more than Wall.

Canvey Island have three of our ex-players in Harry Palmer in goal, Sam Collins in midfield and Martin Tuohy up front, the latter being their second highest scorer, with five goals to his credit.

Kieran Bishop is at Grays and Abs Seymour has been joined at Barking recently by Tobi Joseph, who earlier this season played for Brentwood.

Olumide Oluwatimilihin, who was prominent in our promotion push last season, started the current season at Three Bridges and last week moved up a division and made his debut for Lewes in the Bostik Premier Division.

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