Hornchurch continue to march on

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (Pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (Pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo) - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

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Six more points, on the road at Potters Bar and Maldon & Tiptree, and Hornchurch have won their first eight matches of the season.

We now travel to Hertford on Saturday in the FA Cup, and we are beginning to wonder when we will get a Saturday match at home again.

We were at Romford two weeks ago, Potters Bar last Saturday, and then we go to Hertford, Norwich Utd, Mildenhall and lastly Thamesmead on a Sunday due to ground sharing requirements.

This means that we will not be at home on a Saturday until mid-October, so we will have to be content with Tuesday home games for a few weeks, which is not the ideal situation financially, unless we can pick up another Cup bonus at Hertford.

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Last Saturday at Potters Bar the first drops of rain started just as the referee blew his whistle to start the match - and it came down in torrents for much of the first half.

Although Theo Fairweather-Johnson fired us ahead with a shot from the edge of the area after just seven minutes, we quickly found out why the hosts were unbeaten in the league until now.

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They played good flowing football, and deservedly drew level with a well directed header shortly before the interval.

The rain stopped and we were greeted with a sunshine second half.

We were also entertained to one of our best 45 minutes of the season, as Hornchurch stepped up a gear and took full control.

Leon McKenzie ran on to a long pass from Brad Warner and put us in front with an excellent shot from outside the area, and from then on there was never any doubt about the result.

Unfortunately the home side, who had played so fluidly in the first half, grew increasingly desperate in their efforts to salvage a point, and this culminated in a card festival in the final minutes of stoppage time - three yellows followed by the inevitable red variety, the recipient of which was a little unfortunate as two other home players had earlier got off with a yellow for far worse offences, but perhaps a fourth card in a matter of minutes was one card too many.

But don’t discount Potters Bar - they are a very good side, and likely to win a lot more then they lose this season.

And just as the match finished, back came the rain, in ever increasing cascades, as the surrounding area quickly turned into a sea of puddles.

We took the rain with us to Maldon & Tiptree, where Leon McKenzie put us ahead early in the match, but Maldon drew level on the half hour.

Brad Warner fired us back into a first half lead with a free kick that ended up in the net after by-passing a host of defenders, and we then had to endure a second half in driving rain, and facing wave after wave of Maldon attacks, holding out thanks to two excellent Sam Mott saves and two shots that came back off the post.

We now go to Hertford in the F.A. Cup on Saturday, and they are something of an unknown quantity, having only rejoined the Isthmian League this season.

In their six league matches so far, they have beaten Maldon & Tiptree, and drawn three. On Saturday last, they lost 4-0 at home to Waltham Abbey.

We have played Hertford on 63 occasions.

They were regular visitors in the Spartan League in the 40s and early 50s, and then in the Athenian League in the 60s and the Isthmian League the 70s right through to 2003 - and that is where it stopped.

Our last meetings were in 2002-03 and we won 2-1 on both occasions.

Mark Risley being the scorer and an own goal at Hertford, and Danny Benstock and Kevin Jopson scoring at Bridge Avenue.

Assuming there is a definite outcome on Saturday, we are at home to Aveley in the League Cup on Tuesday.

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