Six of the best for rampant Urchins
By Andrew Dickinson
The Urchins brushed aside Cray Wanderers as goals from Rook, Hayles, Styles, Bourne and a brace from Purcell sealed an emphatic 6-1 victory.
Hornchurch kicked into a very strong wind in the first half, in front of a sparse crowd at Hayes Lane, Bromley, and they quickly took control, Chris Bourne firing a loose ball narrowly wide after just two minutes.
Hornchurch dictated the midfield play and went close again when George Purcell slotted through to Derek Duncan, whose shot skimmed the post.
Hornchurch won three corners, with Joey May, Bourne and Duncan taking it in turns to swerve the ball close to goal, and they took the lead with their fourth corner of the match, when Bourne sent the ball over from the right, and Carl Rook flicked the ball into the net, with Ben Frempah unable to prevent the ball crossing the line.
Purcell twice had shots cleared, before Hornchurch went further ahead. Bourne started the move with a rapid run along the right, and his cross into the middle found Rook, whose shot was cleared off the line by Louis Sproson, but only as far as Joey May out on the left, and he promptly played the ball back into the middle, for Rickie Hayles to head home.
It was Bourne who began the build up to the third goal, with an inch perfect pass out to Joey May, whose shot was tipped around the post by Andy Walker. Duncan took the corner, and Elliot Styles headed home.
Until now Cray had little to offer, just one shot which sailed high over the bar. But they had an opportunity to pull a goal back when Leigh Bremner weaved through on the left, but was thwarted by an excellent dive by Inigo, who had quickly came out of goal. Bremner tried to hook back the loose ball, but Inigo again saved.
And it quickly became four nil when George Purcell gained possession midway inside the home half, powered forward, and crashed the ball past Walker.
And Purcell almost added a fifth, with a fine shot which came back off a post.
At the interval Frankie Curley replace Phil Starkey, and Hornchurch continued to dictate proceedings.
Purcell found space for himself and his hard drive was parried by Walker, and back out to Bourne, who placed his follow up shot a fraction too high and over the bar.
In what was a rare Cray sortie into Hornchurch territory, Sproson crossed to Alex Stravinou, who headed over the bar.
Curley created an opening for Purcell, and his shot was tipped around the post by Walker.
The fifth goal soon followed, and it was a fine solo run by Chris Bourne, who weaved past defenders before crashing the ball into the net.
Inigo was then brought into the action when he held a dangerous cross from the right, and followed this up with a good save shortly afterwards.
Cray pulled a goal back when a long-range shot was deflected out for a corner. Peter Wedgeworth sent the ball to the near post where LEIGH BREMNER glanced a header into the net.
The come-back lasted for just over one minute, when Inigo fielded the ball, and pumped it deep into the Cray half, where Bourne touched back to George Purcell, who calmly placed the ball wide of Walker and into the net.
Inigo was again in action two minutes later, but his challenge for the ball resulted in a penalty. Leigh Bremner stepped up to take the kick, and Inigo dived to his right to save.
Cray then enjoyed their best spell, when they won two corners in succession, with Inigo turning a third attempt around the post for a third corner. Over came the ball and it was headed away to safety by Ade Yusuff, who had replaced Duncan a minute earlier.
Hornchurch then again forced the pace, leaving Cray with little option but to defend in depth, despite making a triple substitution.
Purcell again almost found the net with a well placed shot, which Walker saved in fine style, and as the match moved into stoppage time, Rook lobbed the ball over Walker, where it was cleared off the line, to Yusuff, whose follow up shot went over the bar.
CW – Andy Walker – Louis Sproson – Peter Wedgeworth (Junior Fatai 76) – Alex Stravinou (Nick Wybrow 76) – Danny Young – Ben Frempah – Chris Saunders – Ben Davisson – Leigh Bremner – Tommy Whitnell (Jack Clark 76) – Uchi Ibemere
Subs – John Estrada – Joseph Ogunbiyi
HFC – Inigo Echepare – Billy Coyne – Alex Bentley – Rickie Hayles – Elliot Styles © - Phil Starkey (Frankie Curley at half time) – Derek Duncan (Ade Yusuff 64) – Joey May – Carl Rook – George Purcell – Chris Bourne (Simon Glover 79)
Subs – Michael Spencer - Junior Lawrence
Scorers – Carl Rook 12 – Rickie Hayles 22 – Elliot Styles 24 – George Purcell 33 – Chris Bourne 53 – Leigh Bremner 61 (CW) – George Purcell 62
Booking – Duncan 10 (H)
Officials – Paul Yates with Gerry Heron and Alexis Stacchini
Weather – cloudy, 20 degrees, wind speed up to 25 mph
Duration – 46.00 + 49.00