George Purcell scores twice in heatwave conditions
REDBRIDGE 0 HORNCHURCH 2
1 – Callum Chafer (1 – Sam Mott 46)
2 – Alex Bentley
8 – Elliot Styles
20 – JJ Da Cruz
3 – George Woodward
12 – Dave Collis
6 – Nicky Symons
11 Charlie Dove (5 – Nathan Cooper 46)
7 – Abs Thompson (16 – Will King 70
9 – David Knight (4 – Ousmane Kone 66)
10 – George Purcell
Scorers – Purcell 45 – Purcell 65
The venue was switched to the Ford Sports Ground in Aldborough Road South, just off the A12. And for anyone coming in from London there was a big problem – very big in fact, as the road was closed at Newbury Park due to a gas leak, and traffic was backing up all the way to the Blackwall Tunnel.
Bright sunshine and a temperature of 32 degrees greeted the teams as they came out, offset with a strong crossfield wind.
Any idea that this was going to be a leisurely stroll against an Essex Senior League side was quickly dispelled, when Redbridge twice came close to scoring in the opening five minutes, but Hornchurch stepped up their pace and for a time play was confined to midfield, albeit with Redbridge still enjoying an equal share of the territorial play.
The first clear cut chance for Hornchurch came on 29 minutes when David Knight turned sharply on the edge of the area, forcing the home keeper into making an excellent diving save.
Redbridge were by now forced to defend, and when Knight sent George Purcell away on the left, Purcell sent the ball low into the goalmouth, where Abs Thompson was waiting for what appeared to be a simple tap-in. It did not quite work out as the ball bobbled and the keeper was only too grateful to make the save.
The referee was just about to end the first half when George Purcell turned on the edge of the area, and fired the ball hard into the net for the first goal, to send Hornchurch into the lead.
Sam Mott took over in goal and Nathan Cooper came on for Charlie Dove at the start of the second half, and Redbridge spent most of the half defending.
On 52 minutes Purcell hit a hard drive against he post, and Elliot Styles saw his shot go wide from a Dave Collis corner.
George Purcell made it two nil when he finished off a cross from close range on 65 minutes, and Hornchurch introduced Ozzie Kone and Will King for Thompson and Knight.
The closest that Hornchurch came to increasing their lead was when a Cooper shot came back off the bar from a Collis corner.
The temperature had dropped to 27 degrees at the end of a match where the pace had been slowed as the second half progressed.