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1st - Match centre

Hampton & RB
AFC Hornchurch
Thu 10 Apr 19:45 - The Ryman Football League - Premier Division Full time Attendance 235

Roberts goal almost enough for Beavers

The Beavers were just 5 minutes from a surprise win over promotion chasing AFC Hornchurch but had to settle for a well earned point.

In a game that was physical at times, the Beavers matched their visitors despite the uneven pitch, likened by one fan to a 'field of moguls'.

Given the press of games for the Beavers, the fact there were changes in the lineup came as no surprise. George Wells went back to his left back position, as Darren Powell returned to the centre of defence alongside Justyn Roberts; Tom Hickey returned, sans face mask, to the deep lying midfield role, in place of James Simmonds; Joe Turner returned to midfield, and Dave Tarpey took his turn to partner Ben Harris up front.

The Beavers made the most of the early exchanges; on 15 minutes, the fearless Ben Harris suffered a clash of heads with Elliott Styles, and need lengthy treatment, ultimately returning with a dressing plus bandage on what looked to be a significant cut. The striker was in the wars for most of the game as he battled away.

Neither side could break the other down and the nearest either came to a goal was when on 40 minutes, a ball down the right to George Purcell allowed the striker to lob a shot towards goal despite the attentions of Darren Powell, which drifted wide.

Early in the second half, on 51 minutes, a mazy Joe Turner run ended with him being fouled on the edge of the area. Ben Osman looked the prime candidate to take the kick, but Justyn Roberts had spotted a small gap round the left side of the wall, and curled the ball precisely round the defenders into the bottom corner, out of Echepare's reach.

The Beavers were still marginally on top, and kept creating the chances. Typical of this was on 66 minutes, when Ben Harris chased and harried the Hornchurch defence to win the ball; he fed Charlie Moone, but the striker couldn't keep his lob down and it landed on the roof of the net.

Hornchurch then cranked up the pressure and the Beavers had to defend hard, and with 15 minutes to go, Rodney Chiweshe has to throw himself out to block a close range from midfielder Phil Starkey as the Urchins started to get worried.

The visitors were piling men forward in the last 10 minutes and with just 5 minutes to go, they got their reward. A shout for a penalty was turned down, the ball then ran to Purcell on the edge of the area, and he accurately fired home.

The Beavers had the last chance of the game as Dave Tarpey burst through the defence in added time, but his shot was beaten away by Echepare to safety.

The Beavers will no doubt have felt this was two points lost but they can do it all again on Saturday, home to Thamesmead, kick off 3-07pm.

Hampton & Richmond Borough 1
Justyn Roberts 52'

AFC Hornchurch 1
George Purcell 86'

Attendance: 235

Hampton & Richmond Borough: 1 Rodney Chiweshe, 2 Tommy Brewer, 3 George Wells, 4 Tom Hickey, 5 Darren Powell, 6 Justyn Roberts, 7 Luke Wanadio, 8 Ben Osman, 9 Ben Harris (Jack Barton 87'), 10 Charlie Moone (Dave Tarpey 76'), 11 Joe Turner

Subs: 12 Harry Mills, 14 Jack Barton, 15 Jake Hicks, 16 Dave Tarpey, 17 Luke Edgecombe

AFC Hornchurch: 1 Inigo Echepare, 2 Dave Rainford, 3 Michael Spencer (Chris Bourne 63'), 4 Elliot Styles, 5 Rickie Hayles, 6 Frankie Curley, 7 Tambeson Eyong (Carl Rook 79'), 8 Phil Starkey, 9 Stefan Payne, 10 George Purcell, 11 Danny Phillips (Martin Tuohy 74')

Subs: 12 Martin Tuohy, 14 Carl Rook, 15 Leigh Bremner, 16 Billy Coyne, 17 Chris Bourne

The FA Respect: We Only Do Positive

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
10. Billericay Town 46 66
11. Margate 46 64
12. Hampton & RB 46 64
13. Canvey Island 46 62
14. Grays Athletic 46 61
15. Bury Town 46 60
16. Lewes 46 59

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