McBride: Rioting gave us no choice

Hornchurch chairman explains postponement

Hornchurch expect to play their final pre-season friendly of the summer against Maidstone tomorrow (Saturday, 1pm), after a midweek fixture was called off due to the London riots.

Urchins were due to take on Brentwood at Barking’s Mayesbrook Park ground on Tuesday, but the friendly was cancelled after talks with the Met Police.

McBride explained: “One of our people at the club is in the Met and I rang him and asked ‘would you play football in Barking tonight?’

“He was on his way back from Scotland and had been in talks with colleagues after all the trouble at the weekend and on Monday and said ‘no’.

“The traffic news was saying Ripple Road was shut due to incidents the night before and there had been incidents at the train station too.

“We’ve got lots of lads who live in east London and come by train and it wasn’t worth it. You don’t want people putting themselves in that position.”

Most Read

The situation in the capital settled down in midweek, as trouble spread to other parts of the UK, but McBride hopes Urchins can finish their pre-season campaign on a high tomorrow.

He added: “We had a little problem against Sutton last season but have got a good relationship with our local police now. Specials come down and just seeing them there is a deterrent.

“Our game will be ok. Hopefully it will be a decent game as well. Maidstone beat Tonbridge recently and I think they’ll be one of the favourites this season.

“Our pre-season has gone well from the first training session. We’re ahead of what we were last year and only finished seven points off second place at the end of the season.

“The boys have looked really fit and been really committed and the pleasing thing for Jimmy [McFarlane] is the new boys have all made telling contributions so far.”

Romford visit Hythe Town in their final pre-season friendly, after their meeting with landlords Aveley was called off in midweek due to problems with the water pipes at Mill Field.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter