HORNCHURCH LOSE AT HARLOW
By Tony Middleton
But George Purcell becomes the record goal scorer
HARLOW TOWN 3 HORNCHURCH 1
HT – Hughes – Small – Eadie – Pope © - Sonko – Simms – Dadson – Noto – Read – Wixon (Antoine 83) – Benjamin (Melaugh 74)
Subs – West – Gordon Ryan
HFC – Mott – Coyne (Dove 62) – Chouman (McKenzie 81) – May – Cooper – Gooacre – Luke – Styles © - Knight – Purcell (Gayle 69) – Brown
Subs – Thompson
Officials – Alan Dale with Lee Kendrick and Wayne Middlemas
Scorers – Dadson 13 (HT) – Purcell 19p (H) – Noto 41 (HT) – Dadson 80 (HT)
Duration 46.00 + 48.00
Weather – clear, 7 degrees
HARLOW TOWN 3 HORNCHURCH 1
A disappointing defeat at Harlow’s 3G pitch, and one that could have been considerably different had Hornchurch taken an early lead, when George Purcell sent over a perfect ball from the left, and Junior Luke’s first time volley crashed against the underside of the bar and was scrambled away.
In the first minute an excellent long ball from Nic Brown, signed during the week from Farnborough, found Purcell, but he slipped on the artificial surface as the ball reached him.
Billy Coyne sent a free kick over the bar from thirty yards, and Harlow took the lead when Junior Dadson converted a cross from the left.
Hornchurch were quick to reply. George Purcell was brought down inside the area and confidently crashed home the resulting penalty, and at the same time becoming the highest Hornchurch scorer in senior football.
Hornchurch kept up the pressure although play swung from one end to the other, and when Brown and Purcell combined well to set up David Knight his shot was deflected for a corner. Joey May sent the ball over to Luke, and his shot was a fraction wide of the goal.
Another shot by Knight went for a corner, and then Harlow had a scare when David Hughes fumbled a cross, allowing Knight to move in quickly, but the referee, who had a very good game, took the easy way out and awarded the home side a free kick.
Dadson sent a shot wide in Harlow’s next attack, and Brahima Sonko headed over from a corner as Harlow put some pressure on the Hornchurch defence.
Paul Goodacre tackled Alex Read as he was about to shoot, and Jed Chouman cleared a dangerous cross, which threatened to swerve into the net.
Back at the other end, Coyne and Knight combined to give Brown a shooting chance, but Hughes saved well.
Close to half time Harlow went ahead, when a corner was only partially cleared. Jared Small promptly sent the ball back to an unmarked Mario Noto, who ran forward and sent a hard shot past Sam Mott.
Harlow went close soon after the start of the second half, whilst at the other end a Purcell shot was turned away for a corner.
A long ball out of defence found Knight but his shot was too high, and chances were infrequent at both ends. Charlie Dove replaced Billy Coyne, and Aaron Gayle came on in place of George Purcell.
Hughes saved well from Jed Chouman, whilst Junior Luke, whose runs along the right were causing the home side a lot of problems, went close with a shot from outside the area.
With nine minutes left Harlow went further ahead when a corner was not dealt with and the ball was played back to Junior Dadson to score his second of the match.
Leon McKenzie came on for Jed Chouman, but Hornchurch were unable to penetrate the home defence who had little difficulty in holding on to their lead.
And Hornchurch were left to wonder whether it would have been different had Junior Luke’s shot gone in off the underside of the bar instead of bouncing on the line.