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Hornchurch returned to the top of the Ryman Premier with a comfortable 3-0 home win over Wingate & Finchley on Saturday and manager Jimmy McFarlane described his side’s performance as ‘efficient’.

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First half goals from Carl Rook and George Purcell made the game all but safe before Stefan Payne found the net midway through the second period to ensure the three points and it left McFarlane very satisfied.

“That is twice I haven’t mentioned going top of the league and twice we have won and done it so I won’t be mentioning it anymore this year!” said McFarlane.

“It was an efficient performance. We didn’t get many people off their seats, it was little guns of magic, Stefan in particular. But it was a typical Ryman Premier football game where we kept a clean sheet and scored three goals.”

The Urchins manager also pointed out that Wingate are no pushovers and was pleased his side got through a sloppy period during the first half, where the match was very even.

“That is the hardest pitch in this league to play on. It is so heavy and you lose your footing,” said McFarlane.

“We played well in little spells. People think Wingate & Finchley are bottom of the league every year but they are doing alright and they’ve had some decent results. I’m just pleased with the three points.

“I keep saying it but every side, no matter where they are in the league, will have a spell in the game.

“You go back to Wealdstone, we beat them 6-1 and just before half time we didn’t get a touch of the ball for 10 minutes.

“It is how you come through that spell and we come through it.”

The clean sheet for Hornchurch was their third in five matches and McFarlane was delighted with his back five.

He also admitted his bench at the weekend was one full of half fit players, adding: “Sam Lechmere will be a week or two, Billy Coyne was ok but I would have only used him as a last resort.

“We had a bench full of people, apart from Tambeson Eyong, who really weren’t ready to come on unless absolutely necessary.”

“The defence did really well, the four of them done excellent again.

“The goalkeeper was very assured, his kicking was good and his handling was as good as ever.”

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