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Forwards help Hornchurch return top with victory over Wingate & Finchley

Stefan Payne netted in the 3-0 win over Wingate & Finchley (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) Stefan Payne netted in the 3-0 win over Wingate & Finchley (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Sunday, December 1, 2013
11:56 AM

Ryman Premier: AFC Hornchurch 3 Wingate & Finchley 0

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Hornchurch’s three forwards all found the net at Bridge Avenue to send the hosts top of the Ryman Premier once again this season.

Carl Rook and George Purcell scored in the first half before Stefan Payne bagged the third to delight the home crowd.

Urchins started well and were inside Wingate’s half for most of the opening seven minutes before they capitalised on an error from the visitors.

Ola Williams tried a back pass but Payne was on hand to nip ahead of the away keeper and slide the ball across goal for Rook to tap in his 10th goal of the season.

Wingate came close to leveling midway through the first period as former Dagenham & Redbridge player Tommy Tejan-Sie got to the byline and crossed in but Spencer McCall’s header flashed across Inigo Echepare’s goal.

But Urchins doubled their lead two minutes later and it was Purcell firing in his 17th of the season.

The best football of the half saw Frankie Curley find Purcell who played a lovely one-two with Payne before Purcell drilled into the net.

Payne, enjoying his first start since November 12, then beat his full back and crossed in for Rook but his header crashed off the crossbar and was cleared.

Just as two minutes were added on Hornchurch felt they should have had a penalty, and it did seem like Williams caught Payne’s ankle sufficiently enough to warrant a spot kick.

Payne spun away from the Wingate defender, producing a great bit of skill, then cut back inside but no penalty was awarded and it was 2-0 at the break.

Wingate brought on powerful forward Leon Smith at half time and he nearly made an immediate impact but fired wide from outside the area.

However, the sloppy start didn’t cost Hornchurch and Dave Rainford nearly made it three but his free-kick was tipped over.

Slowly Urchins improved and they nearly got a third when Curley tried an audacious overhead kick but it was tipped over the bar.

Two minutes after that effort and it was finally three, with Payne getting in on the act after linking up with strike-partner Purcell.

Purcell played a lovely pass forward and Payne battled with his marker before lashing past the Wingate keeper to seal the three points.

Both managers made several changes during the final exchanges as the game petered out as a contest but it was Hornchurch who were delighted at the final whistle as they recorded their 12th league win of the season to move to the summit.

Hornchurch: Echepare, Starkey, Bentley, Styles, Hayles (May 81), Curley, Rook, Rainford, Payne (Eyong 83), Purcell, Spencer (Bourne 87).

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