Hornchurch suffer once again

Elliot Styles of Hornchurch (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Elliot Styles of Hornchurch (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Ryman Premier: Wingate & Finchley 1 Hornchurch 0

Hornchurch’s sorry start to the 2014/15 season continued at the Harry Abraham Stadium as they lost by a single goal to Wingate & Finchley.

Karl Olayide’s first-half effort was the difference in a tight Ryman Premier contest as Urchins again failed to find the net and fell to another unlucky defeat.

Although Wingate sat fourth in the table beforehand and Urchins were languishing third from bottom, it was the visitors who started the game strongest.

Jimmy McFarlane’s team set an excellent tempo, with George Purcell and Tom Davis both firing efforts over the bar inside the opening 10 minutes.

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They continued to press and might have taken the lead with 16 minutes played when Davis worked an opportunity for himself. The summer signing blocked a clearance before volleying across goal, but unfortunately for Hornchurch his effort went wide of the goal and team-mate Chris Bourne, who flung himself at the ball at the back post.

Two minutes later and Wingate delivered the perfect sucker punch by taking the lead through Karl Olayide, completely against the run of play.

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Olayide ran onto a hopeful ball forward and fired over Sam Mott and into the net from 25 yards to give the hosts the lead.

It was an unjust advantage, but it boosted Wingate and David Knight went close for them soon after before Tommy Tejan-Sie tested Mott following a short corner.

Hornchurch did respond, though, and nearly equalised seven minutes before the break when Alex Bentley’s deep cross was met by Junior Luke, however former Urchin Bobby Smith saved his effort to preserve Wingate’s lead at half time.

Both sides had good opportunities to find the net at the start of the second period, as Tejan-Sie stood the ball up to the back post but Knight couldn’t get a strong enough connection before Purcell might have equalised for Urchins.

Bourne crossed into Tobi Joseph, who knocked the ball down for Purcell but Smith easily saved his scuffed effort.

Home substitute Ahmed Rifat was next to go close, on two occasions, as Scott Shilton played him through on goal and he forced Mott into a wonderful save, tipping the ball away with it destined for the top corner.

From the following corner Courtney Homans cleared Rifat’s header off the line.

Urchins switched to a 3-4-3 shortly afterwards as McFarlane brought on Moses Ashikodi and Junior Dadson in search of an equaliser.

And Hornchurch came closest to leveling the scores in the 90th minute, but a stunning long-range effort from Davis was deflected just wide and they fell to their sixth defeat in seven outings this season.

McFarlane’s men welcome Maidstone to Aveley’s Mill Field for their first ‘home’ fixture of the season on Tuesday.

Hornchurch: Mott, Homans (Ashikodi 66), Bentley, Styles, Beckles, Curley, Luke, Davis, Joseph (Marshall-Katung), Purcell, Bourne (Dadson 75).

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