W&F 9-0 AFC Hornchurch
A Ned Clarke hat-trick helped Wingate and Finchley Under-23s emphatically beat Hornchurch Under-23s 9-0 to stay top of the Development League table.
Elijah Seymour netted an early goal, before Clarke took centre stage to get the Blues back on track. Ben Pattie got his own hat-trick in the second half and a brace from Keir Dickson rounded off the scoring. It was a perfect response to losing for the first time this season at Barking last time out.
Wingate started on the front foot with a fierce Pattie strike driven from 25 yards out that stung the palms of Will Perfect in the Hornchurch goal.
Ibrahim Conti then played Clarke in, but the striker’s effort cannoned back off the bar, before the ball fell to Pattie, whose shot was deflected over. Wingate took the lead after four minutes. Pattie played in Seymour down the right and the winger tucked the ball into the far corner with his first touch.
The Blues doubled their advantage when Keir Dickson’s cross hit Clarke, rebounded off the defender and then back to Clarke, who flicked it in from close range. A flurry of chances ensued for the home side as Pattie, Ricardo Price and Clarke all saw efforts blocked by some heroic defending. Pattie then played in Dickson, whose shot rebounded back off the post for Pattie – but the striker saw his latest effort saved.
The third goal was a brilliant solo effort from Ned Clarke, who jinxed his way through the defence before unleashing a powerful strike into the top corner from 20 yards out.
Hornchurch almost gave themselves a lifeline when Joe Syanahav struck the crossbar, but Wingate managed to clear the danger. Clarke, on a hat-trick, almost grabbed his third just before the break, but saw his low drive tipped round the post by Perfect. Wingate did have the ball in the net again soon after the restart when Price’s shot was parried into the path of Pattie. The striker nodded home from close range, but the offside flag was up.
A counter attack down the left saw Dickson cut inside onto his right foot and curl wide from inside the box. The home side did not have to wait long for another goal. Clarke sealed his hat-trick with a left-footed strike from 20 yards out that nestled into the bottom corner.
The visitors almost got a consolation when a mistake from Wingate ‘keeper Ruben Rabstein allowed Farmer in. But Rabstein atoned for his error, saving well with his feet, before Carl Pearce cleared the rebound off the line.
Dean Barker’s side were not done yet as Pattie finally got his name on the scoresheet. The striker hammered home from inside the area with his favoured left foot to increase the advantage.
Left-back Dickson joined the party soon after, rifling home from well outside the area with his left foot to make it 6-0. Captain Pattie then expertly curled a free-kick into the bottom corner to put himself on a hat-trick. But despite being through on goal moments later, he could not find a way past Perfect.
The home side were running riot in the closing stages – Pattie found Dickson on the left hand side, who cut inside to shoot across the ‘keeper into the net. It was nine when Dickson dribbled through several Hornchurch players before unselfishly squaring the ball for Pattie to tap in for his own hat-trick.
The young Blues go into the next game, a trip to Haringey Borough a week on Monday, five points clear at the top of the table, with two games in hand.
By Sam Jones
Wingate: Rabstein (GK), Conteh, Dickson, Ebelebe, Gyimah, Pearce, Price, Alfano (Mandeville, 77 mins), Clarke (Akinola, 67 mins), Pattie (c), Seymour (Ferguson, 72 mins).
Unused subs: Vural (GK), Patrick.