Bostik North: Hornchurch and Romford in search of silverware in 2018 – in league and cup quests

PUBLISHED: 18:30 18 January 2018

Romford's Dan Cossington closely watches Hornchurch forward George Purcell (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo).

Romford's Dan Cossington closely watches Hornchurch forward George Purcell (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

In an article from our ‘Year in Sport’ pull-out, we look ahead to why Jimmy McFarlane and Paul Martin could both be smiling come the end of the season

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane at Bridge Avenue (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo). Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane at Bridge Avenue (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo).

Hornchurch and Romford have different ambitions in the Bostik North, but both could finish the 2017-18 campaign with some silverware.

The Urchins have enjoyed a great first half to the season and sit top of the division with 21 wins from 28 fixtures, six points clear of nearest rivals Bowers & Pitsea.

Goals from George Purcell, Brad Warner and Leon McKenzie have helped Jimmy McFarlane’s men move away from the chasing pack and into first place, but a rock-solid defence has played a massive part too.

Sam Mott has kept 13 clean sheets in the league with Alex Bentley, Nathan Cooper, Kenzer Lee, Jay Porter and Jamie Hursit all impressing at the back.

With two clubs guaranteed to go up automatically this campaign – potentially three – Hornchurch will hope to maintain their form and return back to the Premier later this year for the first time since the 2014/2015 term.

Last season they lost 1-0 in the play-off semi-final at Thurrock, with Fleet winning the final and sealing promotion in the process, but McFarlane will be out to avoid the drama of the play-offs this time and go up as champions.

Bowers & Pitsea, Dereham Town and Canvey Island are rivals for first place, but given the Urchins’ stunning form, they will back themselves to remain out in front of the chasing pack.

Romford are at the other end of the table and looking to avoid a bottom-place finish, which would see them return to the Essex Senior League for the first time since 2009.

A string of draws in November boosted the spirits of the Boro, who were struggling at the basement and without a league win since August.

Romford manager Paul Martin looks on at Ship Lane (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) Romford manager Paul Martin looks on at Ship Lane (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

But the 17-match winless run in the Bostik North was ended just before Christmas with a fine 4-2 success at Cheshunt.

It started a run of four wins out of five in the league which has enabled Paul Martin’s team to move off the bottom and build a gap between themselves and the one relegation place available for this season.

While Romford will look to improve on their 16th-place finish in the division last season, in the Essex Senior Cup they are still dreaming of success.

Boro have reached the last four of the county competition for the first time in 41 years and although they visit big-spending Billericay Town in the semi’s, Martin will make sure his players give their all to try and cause another upset and also stay up.

Related articles


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


Read our World Cup blog over the coming weeks. Lane Dias reviews game one on day 12 of the tournament


Ardleigh Green cruised to a nine-wicket win over Basildon in their Shepherd Neame Essex League Division Three clash at Central Park.


Wood beaten by 31 runs on Saturday, but still moved into promotion places with rivals slipping up


Old Brentwoods edged past Woodford Green in their Shepherd Neame Essex League Division Three contest.


Upminster came up agonisingly short in their Shepherd Neame Essex League Division One contest at Buckhurst Hill.


Valentines Park outfit won by four wickets away from home


Harry Kane’s hat-trick inspired England to their biggest ever World Cup win as Gareth Southgate’s men sealed progress to the last 16 with a 6-1 demolition of Panama that puts their rivals on notice.


The captain has missed the last two games through suspension while opener Browne hasn’t played since the start of May against Yorkshire


The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Sean Watson, director at the family-run St Michaels Homes which runs Howard Lodge and Dudbrook Hall, answers the common questions people have about care homes.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now