On a windy afternoon the match seemed to be heading for a goalless draw until a sensational run, followed by an equally sensational shot, by leading scorer George Purcell gave Hornchurch a ten point lead at the top of the table.

Saturday 27-January-2018


HFC – Mott, Hursit, Porter, Lee, Cooper ©, Oluwatimilehin (Styles 63), Livings, Roberts, Fairweather-Johnson (McKenzie 85), Purcell, Warner (Joseph 68)
Subs – Bentley, Assombalonga

NU – Wilton, Robert (Datocampol 80), Applegate, Wones, Eastaugh (Carroll 90), Watts, Jones, Pollock, Jackson, Stewart, Hipperson

Officials – Chris Bodell with Michael Harvey and Martin Cannon

Scorer – Purcell 87

Bookings – Jones 13 (N) – Lee 24 (H) – Cooper 66 (H) – Fairweather-Johnson 69 (H) – Jackson 89 (N)
Attendance 208
Duration 47.00 + 49.00


For the second match in succession Hornchurch kicked towards the clubhouse end of the ground, and faced a very strong downfield wind.

Hornchurch applied the early pressure, and crosses from Purcell and Jamie Hursit both went begging across the goalmouth, and a shot by Nathan Cooper went wide of the post.

Norwich had few chances, although a long range attempt by Adam Hipperson cleared the bar.

Kenzer Lee headed over from a Hursit free kick, and Nathan Stewart fired wide at the other end, before Sam Mott saved well from Liam Jackson.

Andrew Wilton saved from Purcell, who had broken through the middle, and it was Wilton who again came to the rescue when Warner again ran through, and although he rounded the keeper, he was crowded out by two defenders and Wilton gratefully gathered the ball.

Brad Warner and Purcell combined to win a corner, from which Olu Oluwatimilehin sent his shot narrowly wide, and on 32 minutes Nathan Cooper moved up for a Nathan Livings corner, only for his header to come back off the post.

Hornchurch had a chance to go ahead two minutes into the second half, but Livings hit his shot wide, but Norwich came more into the match as an attacking force and Henry Pollock sent in a shot that just cleared the bar.

On 55 minutes Warner broke clear, and Wilton made an excellent save to deny Hornchurch the lead. At the other end, a hard shot from Sam Applegate came back off the post.

A Hipperson free kick, conceded by Cooper, rebounded from the defensive wall, and Norwich survived two Purcell corners inside a minute.

The match seemed to be heading to a goalless draw, until, three minutes from time, George Purcell gained possession close to the half way line, ran forward, and fired home a sensational unstoppable shot from 30 yards, for what was a strong contender for goal of the season, and appropriately it was greeted with ecstatic scenes both on the pitch and on the terraces.

Hornchurch had little difficulty in playing out the remaining few minutes, although Norwich will probably feel that their display merited a point.

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