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offline Dagger03

  • National Squad - 2nd XI
  • Posts: 3,255
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2009

Wednesday 16-August-2017



Grays - Johnson, Folkes, Cross, Cogan © (Thompson 85), Dunn, Wilson, Zuhdu, Cole, Bishop, Hughes-Mason (Mahal 59), Carlos

Subs - ALdis, Fowler, Gogo-Ibiama


Hornchurch: Mott, Bentley, Porter, Lee, Cooper, Chouman, Fairweather-Johnson (Joseph 61), Styles ©, McKenzie (Wall 83), Purcell, Warner (Hursit 87).

Subs: Tuohy, Goodacre


Officials - Graeme Ions with Shane Brown and Piotr Zachwieja


Scorers - Warner 75 - Purcell 90+1

Bookings - Styles 38 (H) - Bentley 66 (H) - McKenzie 77 (H) - Wilson 80 (G) OFF

Attendance 377

Duration 46.00 + 49.00

Played at Aveley FC




Hornchurch made their first visit to Aveley’s new ground, where both teams took some time to adjust to the 3G surface, with black pellets rising up each time the ball bounced. After an even first half, Hornchurch slowly took control in the second period, but it was not until the final fifteen minutes that they took the lead, eventually running out comfortable winners in a very close and at times nerve-wracking match.


Last Saturday Elliot Styles made his 500th appearance, and at Grays it was Jed Chouman’s turn to reach a landmark, with his 100th appearance for Hornchurch.


First chance fell to Hornchurch in the second minute, when George Purcell slotted through to Bradley Warner, but a raised offside flag averted the danger.


Grays, with three ex-Hornchurch players in their line up - James Folkes, Kieran Bishop and Suley Zuhdu - had an early opportunity when James Folkes fed through to Adeyinka Cole, but, with defenders close by, he put his shot wide of the upright.


Kenzer Lee directed a header a fraction wide of the post from a well-flighted Brad Warner free kick, and when Sam Mott sent a long clearance upfield, it resulted in a free kick ten yards outside the area. Purcell stepped up and his hard drive cannoned back off the defensive wall.


Kieron Bishop sent a shot high and over the bar, and a Grays corner was headed away as the home side began to take control, coming forward from midfield.


Another Purcell free kick was defended well, and Lamar Johnson made a good save from Leon McKenzie who had moved on to another long Mott clearance.


At the other end Mott saved well from Bishop, with the resultant corner going across the face of the goal.


A minute after the interval Purcell turned sharply and fired in a hard shot that rose a fraction too high and over the bar.


Two minutes later Johnson could only palm away another vicious Purcell shot, and although Warner was first to react to the loose ball, he put his shot inches wide of the far post.


Grays almost found a way through when Cole got onto the end of a long clearance out of defence, but he put his shot wide. Hornchurch survived a period of intense Grays pressure, and twice the ball went across the face of the goal, with no one able to get a touch, with another shot from close range being cleared off the line.


Tobi Joseph eased the pressure when he moved powerfully upfield, only to put his shot narrowly wide. Joseph was again prominent in a fine move to send McKenzie clear on the wing but there was no one in the middle to get a touch as the ball came across.


Fifteen minutes from time it was Joseph who started the move, and Brad Warner who finished it off, with a pulsating solo run followed by a hard drive that gave the keeper no chance.


Grays were now struggling to cope with a dominant Hornchurch attack, and they were further handicapped when Glenn Wilson handled a Purcell header on the line, preventing a certain goal. One red card later, Leon McKenzie stepped up to take the penalty, only for Johnson to make a fine diving save.


Brad Warner limped off, and was replaced by Jamie Hursit, though later the verdict was that it was not serious.


Hornchurch did not look like losing their slender lead, and in the first minute of stoppage time George Purcell made sure of the points with a hard drive from the edge of the area.



Edited by Dagger03, 17 August 2017 - 07:58 AM.

offline Dagger03

  • National Squad - 2nd XI
  • Posts: 3,255
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2009

I found this on another forum - the writer is not known, but uses the name of Timmy Tabby -


Grays Athletic 0 v 2 AFC Hornchurch - Isthmian League Division 1 (North)

Prog 72 pages £2.00 (sold out at least half an hour before kick off, understandable as it is an excellent read full of articles, stats etc) - Admission £10.00 - Att 377.


...After last seasons disaster for the hosts when the words nil and Grays Athletic coexisted like hand and glove, there have been much more positive noises emanating from this small corner of the realm. At the conclusion of this contest, there was much to admire about what was a determined performance from Grays and apart from a lack of prowess up front, there was little fundamentally wrong about the display. Also the case that Hornchurch with one of the bigger budgets of the division are almost certain to be far nearer the top of the table than the bottom circa the end of April.


Initially, you had to feel sorry pre-match for the PA announcer who had to battle Norman Collier like with a malfunctioning mike whilst reading out the teams and then attempting to give a eulogy to a Grays supporting stalwart who passed away in the summer. A sure sign that in the bright n' shiny Parkside environs not everything go's completely to plan. Also unlike the previous visit the previous Wednesday, the weather was infinitely kinder and with a record attendance for the ground (sure that will be beaten on several occasions during the remainder of the season) a semblance of an atmosphere was apparent.


There were very few chances during a first half where the pattern of play and the effort put in by both sets of players gave the impression that a goal or two would be arriving soon, however the defensive cover was more than adequate to ensure that neither keeper had a particularly busy first period. Good opportunity early on for Chouman running in late on the back post onto a free kick from Warner, what was required was an angled header rather one that went at 180 degrees forward and he headed wide. At half time, it was forecast that that rare beast of an entertaining goal less draw would be the outcome and an early visitation from Famile de Nuls.


As is so often the case during the second half, play to use the correct euphemism 'opens out' as players tire and substitutes make an impact and as the second period evolved, the visitors managed to obtain an ascendancy. They should have taken the lead when McKenzie's 20 yard 4g surface daisy cutter could only be parried by Johnson into the path of Warner for what was the opportunity of the contest thus far but from a matter of feet he inextricably rolled the rebound wide of the far post.


The contest was 'still very much in the balance' and a Cogan corner was missed by the Hornchurch defence reaching Wilson on the back post, however a perfectly positioned Bentley was on hand to clear off the line. As the second half evolved it became ever more likely that the opening goal would emanate from the visitors and this from a RM16 point of view regrettably was the case as the home defence was perhaps a little slow in closing down Warner's run and ensuing shot which beat Lamar for pace an accuracy. Still it was a superb strike no doubt filmed for posterity on Mr Leopard's YouTube channel and well worth a few seconds of anyone's day to view.


From then on there was inevitability about the outcome, though there was a temporary reprieve when McKenzie's penalty was far too close to Johnson who easily blocked. Problem was that the penalty was awarded after Wilson clearly handled a goal bound header from Purcell on the line and quickly departed to a straight red. In the final minutes, a clearly tiring home defence allowed the lurking Purcell to turn into space and he doubled Hornchurch's lead placing his shot wide of Johnson from close range and on the basis of the final 20 minutes there was no doubt that Hornchurch deserved their win.

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