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Saturday 21-November-2015



BR – Bowles – Griggs – Jake Gould – Joseph – Josh Gould – Cripps © - Read – Malton (Howell 74) – Kelly – Pedulu (Clowsley 64) – Mayhew (Rymer 64)

Subs – Baker – Lee


HFC – Mott – Coyne (Poku 84) – Luke – May – Chouman (Dove 59) – Goodacre – Joseph – Styles © - Knight (McKenzie 74) – Purcell – Bentley

Subs – Collis – Thompson


Officials – Ian Gittings with Tom Fell and Hossain Tavokkoli


Scorers – Kelly 14 (BR) – Joseph 90+2 (H)

Booking – Dove 88 (H)

Attendance 182

Duration – 45.00 + 51.00

Weather – cloudy after heavy rain, 6 degrees, wind gusts up to 40 mph

BR – red and black stripes / black / black

H – yellow / blue / yellow





It was not too difficult to find the ground, but the team coach could only squeeze through the narrow approach roads with difficulty, and eventually it had to park in a cul-de-sac on the far side, which at least gave the away supporters a most unusual entry into the ground – along a muddy grass track, then across the pitch. The large away following meant that Brightlingsea enjoyed their highest league attendance of the season, over thirty percent above their average gate.


Conditions were atrocious. The heavy rain prior to the match had left the ground very soggy, but the main problem was the wind, which was blowing downfield and had gusts of up to 40 mph.


The home side won the toss and chose to kick with the wind in their favour, and it proved to be a difficult first 45 minutes for Hornchurch, who struggled to get the ball upfield, as it was frequently blown back in the wind.


Brightlingsea won a series of corners, one of which produced a good save from Sam Mott, who also made another fine save after Luke Read had run through.


Hornchurch could offer little in return, apart from a shot by David Knight which went wide, and a good run by Tobi Joseph, only for the final pass to be cleared by a defender.


Brightlingsea went ahead in farcical fashion, when goalkeeper Ollie Bowles, on loan from Concord Rangers, launched an eighty yard kick down the middle. The ball bounced high over Jed Chouman and Paul Goodacre and Phil Kelly gratefully accepted the gift to play the ball into the net.


Hornchurch briefly threatened when a Joey May corner fell in front of George Purcell, but his shot cannoned off a defender, and shortly afterwards another Purcell shot met the same fate, and this time the ball rebounded to Billy Coyne, whose first time drive from outside the area went over the bar.


Towards half time Mott saved well from Matt Cripps, whilst at the other end two Joey May corners were successfully defended.


The wind reduced in intensity after the interval, although most of the play was at the home end of the ground.


Brightlingsea had an excellent chance to increase their lead two minutes after half time when Shamido Pedulu beat Mott to a long ball, and then, with an open goal in front of him, he inexplicably prodded the ball the wrong side of the post.


This proved to be the last serious home attack, as they were pinned firmly into their own half as Hornchurch pressed forward.


Charlie Dove replaced Jed Chouman, with Elliot Styles moving into his more usual position at the back, and with there were several near misses as Hornchurch dominated proceedings, with Purcell hitting a snap shot over the bar from close range after a goalmouth scramble. And when Hornchurch were awarded a free kick about thirty yards out, we all knew what was coming next – Purcell stepped up and fired what seemed to be an unstoppable shot past the wall, only for Bowles to make an excellent save to keep out what seemed to be a certain goal.


Leon McKenzie came on for Knight, Calvin Poku replaced Coyne, as Hornchurch laid siege to the home goal. Both McKenzie and Poku went close, but it was not until stoppage time that Hornchurch drew level. A Joey May corner was deflected out for another corner, and May floated the ball towards the far post, when McKenzie, Dove and Poku were all waiting. It was McKenzie who headed the ball towards the goal, and Tobi Joseph who put it over the line, to the delight of both the team supporters.


After the match there was much discussion on just about had applied the all-important touch, but the players were adamant that it was Tobi.

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