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Home / 2005-06 Season / 2005-06 Results / Match Report

26th July 2005
AFC Hornchurch 3 - 2 Thurrock
Heale 43', N Cowley 81', Drake 89' H/T  1-1
Att: 159
Lee 14', Hodges 85'

Match Highlights
AFC Hornchurch   Thurrock
14 GOAL - Lee
Burbridge - OFF
Pamplin - ON
Heale - GOAL 42  
  51 OFF - Stevens
ON - Dunbar
Wilson - OFF
Collier - ON
Dear - OFF
Bull - ON
D Cowley - OFF
?? - ON
Heale - OFF
D Cowley - ON
Pamplin - OFF
Drake - ON
  76 OFF - Heffer
ON - Day
N Cowley - GOAL 81  
85 GOAL - Hodges
Drake - GOAL 89  

Match Report by Tony Middleton

Urchins fielded a very young side which probably accounts for the playing of Teenage Kicks prior to the start. Colin McBride took no chances with his line up and fielded nine of his first team squad, including Urchins own Terry Bowes, whilst the ever popular Jimmy McFarlane captained the side. With vastly experienced players like Kris Lee, Steve Heffer and Lee Hodges lining up, it was understandable that the young Urchins appeared somewhat apprehensive, and Thurrock dictated much of the first twenty minutes. A John Purdie free kick could have produced an early goal but quick reaction from Wilson kept the ball out, and although Hodges played it back into the middle, Wilson saved again, with Lee and Richmond in close attendance.

It was something of a surprise to find most of the Urchins free kicks being taken by Danny instead of Nicky Cowley, but it was Danny’s kick from the centre of the field which found Burbridge up front. Nikki headed it out to Sontag, whose centre swung invitingly across goal, but there were no takers. Hodges then slipped past Makitu and set Richmond clear. Bostock’s challenge was just enough to prevent what looked a certain goal. Makitu dispossessed Richmond and moved upfield for the first time, but he played the ball too far forward and Knight gathered as both Heale and Burbridge moved in. Predictably, given the strength of the opposition, it was Thurrock who took the lead, when Sontag’s short pass to Danny Cowley found Danny caught in possession by Lee, who run and pin point centre found Hodges, and Wilson deflected the shot for a corner. It was from the inswinging corner that KRIS LEE glanced the ball into the net.

Was this the signal for a goal rush? No, it was not, but it could have been, as only a last second block by Thomas kept out Lee, whilst Carthy and McFarlane both went close following corners. Urchins would not run with the ball, but preferred the long ball up the middle, with Heale and Burbridge being more than able targets. But Burbridge had to go off, and was replaced by Asa Pamplin, whose experience in holding up the ball gave the home side a chance to build up some momentum. They slowly came into the game more, and the difference in levels narrowed noticeably as the half progressed. Nicky Cowley took matters into his own hands, beating three players as he raced through the middle, but was let down by a poor finish, and then Burbridge played a thirty yard cross field pass out to Makitu, who made ground on the right, but again the finishing was not accurate enough to reach the waiting Heale, and McFarlane cleared. Makitu had a lot to do at the other end as well, with two timely tackles on Hodge, and then heading away Bowes’ dangerous cross from the right. Best move of the night came when Tiffin, Danny Cowley, Dear, Bostock and Sontg exchanged a series of passes, moving from one end of the field to the other. Sontag put the ball into the middle, but it was once again McFarlane who was in position to head to safety. The ball only went as far as Dear, who immediately played it back out to Sontag. This time Asa Pamplin got there first, but Knight saved well.

Thurrock were quick to recover, Wilson diving to tip over a shot from Hodges, and Lee firing wide. At the other end, Makitu floated the ball over to Pamplin, but Heffer’s neat interception prevented what Asa from getting in his shot. Any difference in class was nullified three minutes before the interval, when DANNY HEALE raced through to score, with Makitu and Tiffin prominent in the build up.

Half time one - one and who would have thought it possible?

Urchins came out confidently in the second half, and slowed their game, taking time to place their passes. Things looked decidedly gloomy however when Nicky Cowley turned quickly and went down, needing some lengthy attention before being able to resume, fortunately without any obvious lasting effects. With Thurrock now surprisingly having to defend, sometimes quite desperately, it was Dunbar to came to their rescue, heading out Nicky Cowley’s centre after Sontag and Tiffin had combined well. It was Nicky again whose powerful shot was dropped by Knight, but no one was on hand to follow up on the ball as it bobbed clear.

Thurrock’s Lee Hodges was causing a lot of problems among the home defence, and it was his well flighted cross from the right which went begging in front of goal, whilst Makitu earned deserved applause with a timely tackle on Neil Richmond shortly afterwards, just as he appeared to be clear on goal. Urchins were by now well on top, and not even the experience of Heffer and McFarlane could stop them. Tiffin worked tirelessly, whilst Bostock was dominant in the middle of the defence. But the real turning point came when Nicky Cowley took his first free kick of the night. Everyone lined up for the floated ball into the goalmouth, but instead, it was only the quick reaction by keeper Knight who dived to tip the powerful drive out for a corner. It was then Makitu again to the rescue, this time stopping Carthy, but on the other side of the pitch Charlie Bull was causing Thurrock some worrying moments. On came Billy Drake, to be marked by a player over twice his age. Experience versus enthusiasm plus a good deal of skill. And it was Billy Drake who really livened the match up, when he raced away on the left, thanks to Bull’s inch prefect pass, and played the ball into the middle. Tiffin was waiting, but it was NICKY COWLEY who touched it home. Any thoughts of this being merely a friendly were dispelled as Nicky disappeared under the rest of the team, and chants of Conference South, You’re Having a Laugh, echoed from the east side.

But disaster struck when Makitu played a seemingly safe pass to Thomas, but he conceded a free kick as Richmond challenged. LEE HODGES took his time in taking the kick, and then floated the ball wide of Collier and into the net for the equaliser. Hodges could have added another when he broke clear on the left, but his swerving cross went wide. Was it all over? No, not quite. With just seconds left to go, a massive upsfield kick, and BILLY DRAKE found space, and neatly played the ball home, the goal being greeted more like the winner in a cup final, rather than in a pre-season friendly.

Final score 3-2. And make no mistake about it, they deserved it.


Video Highlights by Rob Monger

- 14mins. Kris Lee puts Thurrock in front (390KB)
- 42mins. Danny Heale puts us back on level terms (590KB)
- 81mins. Now we go in front through Nicky Cowley (820KB)
- 85 mins. Lee Hodges equalises for Thurrock (370KB)
- 89 mins. Billy Drake scores the winner (680KB


AFC Hornchurch
Nicky Wilson
Ket Koka-Makitu
Lee Sontag
Jordan Bostock
Gareth Thomas
Danny Cowley
Nicky Cowley
Greg Tiffin
Rikki Burbridge
Danny Heale
Sean Dear
Charlie Bull
Asa Pamplin
Billy Drake
Danny Gill
Nathan Philip
Micheal Collier
Glen Knight
Brad Stevens
Craig Davidson
John Purdie
Jimmy McFarlane
Martin Carthy
Steve Heffer
Terry Bowes
Kris Lee
Lee Hodges
Neil Richmond
Finlay Dunbar
Chris Day

Man of the Match
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Weather Conditions:  Cloudy. 15 degrees

Match Duration: First half - 45mins 8secs. Second half - 47mins 17secs

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