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AFC Hornchurch 3 Margate 2 at Bridge Avenue
Ryman League Premier Divison

Mitchell Young reports…

The ‘Urchins’ came from behind twice to take all three points at home to stay top of the Ryman Premier after a 3-2 victory against Margate.

Hornchurch dominated the early periods of the first half with a tame shot from Carl Rook which went wide. The first real chance for the home side came 12 minutes in after a dangerous corner by Michael Spencer was met by Frankie Curley went just over the crossbar. Although on the half hour mark the visitors took the lead against the run of play as a controversial free kick was given on the far right of the box. The whipped in ball was retrieved by Warren Whitely on the left hand side, found a yard for a shot and struck it towards goal and somehow found its way in the bottom left hand corner. Inigo Echepare looked to have it covered but it seemed to trickle into the goal, should have done better. The home side responded well and equalised three minutes later as the ball was headed around the area and eventually dropped to Spencer who didn’t hesitate and lashed home the leveller.

To put both sides in at the break all square, despite the home sides dominance in the first half could not test the away sides goalkeeper Holloway enough for Jim Mcfarlane’s liking.

The second half started pretty even with shots from both sides not testing the keepers. The next half chance fell to the ’Urchins’ after a great ball by left back Alex Bentley to captain Elliot Styles, was nodded down into the path of Stefan Payne to shoot but just dragged his shot wide. However Margate regained the lead just before the hour mark as Moses Ashikobi shot was saved by Echepare but was still heading in was scrapped off the line by Hornchurch but was not enough as Phil Walsh made sure and tapped the visitors to lead.

The ‘Urchins’ responded once again, even quicker this time with the lead only lasting a minute as Payne caught the defence napping and got in passed the defenders and took the ball round the keeper to finish into an empty net. Hornchurch then kicked on again and within five minutes Margate had thrown away the lead to trail. As Curley picked up the ball in a tight spot found his way out, taking three players out the game and gave the ball to Michael Spencer, who had one thought on his mind and struck his shot from at least 25 yards into the left hand corner leaving the keeper no chance to lead 3-2. George Purcell could have wrapped up the game 13 minutes from time as he was put through on goal but his shot was well saved by Holloway. The home side made a couple of changes with less than ten minutes to go to slow the game down and see the rest of the game out as Payne was replaced by Bremner and Purcell was swapped for Eyong.

The ‘Urchins’ secured all three points and stay top of the Ryman Premier after a tough fought contest with Margate as they look to continue their form and position away to Lewes next Saturday.

Listen to what Jim Mcfarlene had to say…

Team: Ingio Echepare, Phil Starkey, Alex Bentley, Elliot styles, Rickie Hayles, Frankie Curley, Carl rook, Dave Rainford, Stefan Payne, George Purcell, Micheal Spencer.

Subs: Billy Coyne, Joey May, Tambeson Eyong, Leigh Bremner, Chris Bourne.

Match Details:

AFC Hornchurch 0 Margate 1 (Warren Whitely 30)

AFC Hornchurch 1 Margate 1 (Michael Spencer 35)

AFC Hornchurch 1 Margate 2 (Phil Walsh 59)

AFC Hornchurch 2 Margate 2 (Stefan Payne 61)

AFC Hornchurch 3 Margate 2 (Michael Spencer 63)


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