Monday, 28 December 2015

Wakeup for Great Wakering as Urchins Go for their Nap

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Monday 28 December 2015 at Burroughs Park
Great Wakering Rovers 0 AFC Hornchurch 5
Isthmian League Division One North (Step 4)
Ground 582, and here at my nearest unvisited Step 4 ground after the collapse of a Sussex-Kent double header due to the weather.
Pre-match preparation
Minimal because of the late change of plan, but a glance at the table suggested that the visitors would start as favourites.  The thing I liked most about this venue was that Google Maps started by suggesting "Great Wall of China" when I was a few characters into the search.
This match in one sentence
A dominant Hornchurch performance and a win that was as comfortable as the scoreline suggests.
So what?
Great Wakering stay in lower-mid table and Hornchurch reinforce their promotion credentials, firmly in the playoff places at least and still in the hunt for the top spot.
The drama unfolds
Hornchurch took the lead from their first real attack.  Alex Bentley curled home a right-footer from the edge of the area after a rebound fell nicely into his path.  0-1 after 7 mins

The second goal was very well-taken, a first time shot from 18yds by David Knight, albeit in plenty of space as my photo confirms.  I wrote down the word “ominous” in my notes.  0-2 after 16 mins

... and 0-2 with a superb first-time shot from Knight
Knight produced a baby’s pacifier from somewhere about his person for the celebration.  Maybe he should have kept it in – his direct personal abuse of the assistant ref a few minutes later went unpunished.  I can’t believe it was unheard.  The game continued with Hornchurch in the ascendancy until half-time when I crossed paths with @essexfootie in the tea bar queue.  If you are not following this man on Twitter, then you should be.  0-2 at half-time

Great Wakering started the second half brightly but Hornchurch also responded immediately and George Purcell smacked the crossbar.  Their next chance came before too long, though, as more good work from Knight on the left created a shooting opportunity.  Home keeper Adam Seal did well to narrow the angle.  He had no chance with the third as Purcell picked up the ball from a miscued clearance.  He had plenty to do but he held off the defenders and shot low into the left corner.  0-3  after 56 mins

Great Wakering hit the bar from a distance with 15 minutes to go, and then the rebound was somehow scrambled away from the six-yard box.  Purcell made no mistake, however, with his second of the day, a direct run from midfield and rounding of the keeper.  0-4 after 80 mins

The final goal was pinged off the far post by Bentley after some intricate passing around the Great Wakering penalty area.  A very solid performance from the visitors.  0-5 after 85 mins and at full-time

I went off to South Mimms Services for soup and one of the most inedible bread rolls in the history of European cuisine, followed by a Lemsip chaser.  Hashtag living the dream.
Ground Pix
Neat, tidy and cared-for.  Plus a mascot called Rover.

Rover just wants to join in really ...

Match Pix
Great Wakering Rovers are in the green-and-white.

Something Important in the Local News
Entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth has mentioned pleasant memories of childhood day trips to Southend in his new book.  This has led to a full-page celebratory article in the current Southend Echo, with an appreciative quote from a councillor with responsibility for tourism.  There is a beach ball in the accompanying photograph, but sadly nothing on Brucie’s opinions about the Isthmian League.
Goalkeeper Top Colour Stats
Grey thrashes blue and has a clean sheet too.  Full table to follow in the new year.
What Next?
Watch @GrahamYapp on Twitter for details!  Taking one day at a time due to manful, which as many hoppers know is very serious.

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