In the Hylands

12:00 28 July 2015

Hornchurch Athletic's home ground

Hornchurch Athletic's home ground


Nathaniel Bastin’s latest blog from Hornchurch Athletic CC

A condemned man takes his final walk towards the execution scaffold where he is shortly to be hanged by the neck until dead. As he approaches the step, a member of the crowd offers him a cigarette to which he replies ‘no thanks, I’m trying to quit’.

This kind of gallows humour has been a regular feature of the third team’s season so far. Following consecutive promotions, the side has found life in division nine especially challenging, loitering in the relegation places for the majority of the year.

Inevitably, this plight is not the result of one weakness alone but, rather, numerous and concurrent factors. Perhaps most important is the loss of the team’s two former opening blowers, Alex Hardy and Sam Blowers, leaving a vacuum filled by enthusiastic, but developing, youngsters.

The batting line-up, though personnel has remained largely unchanged, also seems to have lacked its previous potency, with difficulties in both setting and chasing competitive targets.

Inconsistent availability for the teams above cannot have helped matters, where, in years gone by, high class players have turned out for the threes searching for form or unable to secure a place in their regular side.

Of course, the strength of the league should certainly not be discounted, but are we to concede that this is simply a step too far for Mark Speller’s men?

Well, possibly not as the team secured victory at the weekend against (admittedly, also struggling) Eastwood thirds and are now a further win away from hurdling the red line of doom.

Camaraderie, courage and a stroke or two of good fortune is required to avoid the looming hangman’s noose and, if they do escape, I hope you will all join me in a rendition of ‘God save the Threes’, led by (we shouldn’t forget) our modern third team’s most successful captain.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Sports News

Fejiri Okenabirhie of Dagenham & Redbridge is treated against Macclesfield Town (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Daggers winger picked up a nasty injury against Macclesfield Town at the weekend

Paul Bradley in action for Romford & Gidea Park (pic: DNR Glover).

Steve Barfoot watches squad pick up a third consecutive victory at Crow Lane this season

David Knight has been released by Hornchurch (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Jimmy McFarlane boost squad with arrival of former Grimsby Town ace, but bids farewell to ex-Thurrock forward

West Ham United's Manuel Lanzini hurdles a challenge from Chelsea's Willian during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London.

Who has won the pair of tickets for tomorrow’s clash with Chelsea?

Fejiri Okenabirhie of Dagenham & Redbridge lies in pain against Macclesfield Town (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Daggers manager worried by squad depth after picking up more injuries against Macclesfield Town

Yesterday, 19:25
Euan King in action for London Raiders in October 2013 (pic John Scott)

Goalie set for return to gold and blue

Yesterday, 18:00
London Raiders forward Jacob Ranson lets fly (pic John Scott)

London Raiders forward Jacob Ranson reflects on week 5 action

Sunderland's Didier Ibrahim Ndong (left) and West Ham United's Edimilson Fernandes (right) battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the London Stadium.

Edimilson Fernandes excelled as left wing-back for the Hammers as they pipped Sunderland 1-0 on Saturday

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport


Show Job Lists

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now