Rare Joe Burnell goal gives Bath City win over Hornchurch
Joe Burnell scored only the fourth goal of his 12-year playing career as Bath City beat a poor Hornchurch side 3-1 to make it back-to-back victories in the Blue Square Bet South.
Chris Allen also notched his fourth goal in three games and Sean Canham made it five in four late on as City finally killed the game off following a dire second period.
Lee Howells kept faith with the same team that started last week’s win at Tonridge and included new signing Aaron Hopkinson – a winger who has previously played for Lewes and Mangotsfield – on the bench.
In the team were Noah Keats and Allen, both of whom signed long-term deals at Mayday Trust Park last week, and the latter almost helped provide City with a dream start as he beat the offside trap and picked out Josh Low, but the winger’s touch was poor.
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Allen hit the target himself in the 19th minute, though, to give City the lead. Keats did well to win possession in midfield and feed the attacker, whose first-time shot lacked power, but went underneath goalkeeper Joe Woolley.
However, parity was restored within 53 seconds as Wayne Gray got in front of City skipper Gethin Jones to control a cross from the left and, with the home defence appealing in vain for handball, fired home from six yards.
City almost regained the lead immediately, again with the help of Woolley, who stood rooted to the spot as Sean Canham touched on a free-kick. Fortunately for the goalkeeper, the ball hit the post and bounced back into his hands.
Hornchurch fell behind again in the 34th minute when Low played the ball in from the right for Burnell, whose first touch took him past a defender before his second beat the goalkeeper from close range.
It was the first time Burnell had scored since netting for Oxford in September 2008.
The game was put to the bed four minutes from time when Aaron Brown curled in a free-kick and Canham scored.
Bath play at Eastleigh tomorrow (7.45pm).