Five-star Hornchurch bank points
PUBLISHED: 09:52 29 December 2015 | UPDATED: 09:52 29 December 2015
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Ryman North: Great Wakering 0 Hornchurch 5
Hornchurch ended 2015 on a high as they banked the points with a five-star display at Burroughs Park.
Alex Bentley and George Purcell netted two goals apiece, with David Knight also on target for Jimmy McFarlane’s men as they closed to within four points of leaders Cray, with a game in hand.
Only seven minutes had been played when Urchins took the lead as Purcell saw his shot charged down and the ball fell to Bentley, who stroked it past Adam Seal.
And the visitors got another sight of goal just before the quarter-hour mark when Bentley and Knight combined well to set up a chance for Purcell, who fired over.
They did not have to wait much longer to double their advantage, though, as Bentley crossed to Knight on 17 minutes and he drilled his shot wide of Seal and into the net.
Purcell fired a free-kick over the crossbar, while Rovers did not seriously threaten Sam Mott’s goal until three minutes before the interval, when Jack Adlington’s effort drifted just past the post.
But Urchins might have added a third on the stroke of half time when Knight burst through the home defence to force a good save from Seal.
The second half was barely two minutes old when Purcell ran at the Rovers defence and fired against the crossbar.
Then a ball into the box from the left wing by Bentley was missed by Purcell and Joey May to give the hosts another let-off.
Urchins were going for the kill and Knight forced his way through before squaring the ball to Purcell, who was denied by another good save from Seal on 52 minutes.
But a third goal arrived four minutes later, with Purcell profitting as he received a ball from May and created space for himself to score his 23rd league goal of the campaign.
Seal palmed away Bentley’s deflected cross, but Rovers went close to pulling a goal back when a dipping effort came back off the crossbar and Adlington failed to force home the rebound under pressure from the Hornchurch defence.
Purcell made them pay with his second and Hornchurch’s fourth goal of the day on 80 minutes, running through and rounding Seal to slot home.
And it was 5-0 three minutes from time as Seal made a fine save to deny Purcell his hat-trick, only to see Bentley slam the loose ball in off a post for his second, as substitute Calvin Poku made sure on the line.
Urchins will look to maintain their fine form when they welcome Witham to Bridge Avenue on Saturday.
Hornchurch: Mott, Coyne, Chouman, May (Dove 86), Cooper, Goodacre, Knight (Poku 84), Styles, McKenzie (Thompson 78), Purcell, Bentley. Unused subs: Collis, Luke.