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Hornchurch hoping for warmer spell

PUBLISHED: 13:00 24 January 2017

Stewards remove the covers shortly before Dagenham & Redbridge's match with Bromley was postponed because of a frozen pitch (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Stewards remove the covers shortly before Dagenham & Redbridge's match with Bromley was postponed because of a frozen pitch (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

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New Hornchurch signing Teddy Nesbitt challenges former Urchin ambeson Eyong while playing for Concord Rangers in an FA Cup tie in September 2011 (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)New Hornchurch signing Teddy Nesbitt challenges former Urchin ambeson Eyong while playing for Concord Rangers in an FA Cup tie in September 2011 (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

It is always a disappointment when a match is postponed, but it was no surprise when our match against Tilbury was called off on Saturday.

The Bridge Avenue pitch was already frozen and there was little chance of it going ahead as the temperature began to drop once again.

All of the other Isthmian League games in our part of Essex, along with East Thurrock, Leyton Orient and Dagenham & Redbridge were also postponed.

But the real surprise was that nearly all of the games in the Essex Olympian League were played. Possibly the earlier kick offs in that league – matches start at 1.30pm or 2 pm – meant that the pitches avoided the sharp drop in temperature which occurred during the afternoon.

With no match scheduled for midweek, we now have to wait until Saturday, when, weather permitting, we will travel across the Dartford Bridge to VCD Athletic.

Hornchurch have only played VCD three times, the first being in 2002, when we won 4-2 in the London Senior Cup, a competition which we have only entered on a handful of occasions.

Our first excursion into the London Senior Cup was in 2000 when we lost at home to Kingsbury Town. The following season we went out at the first time of asking, at Cray Wanderers. So when we beat VCD it was the first time we had won in that competition. Not that it did us much good, as we lost to Ilford in the next round. And we never entered the London Senior Cup again.

We have only played VCD twice in league matches. In September 2014 we made our first visit to VCD and came back with a 2-0 win, thanks to goals from George Purcell in the first half and Omar Beckles shortly after the interval.

This match was also notable as it was the first time that Sam Mott had kept a clean sheet in a Hornchurch match.

And he kept another clean sheet in the return game at Bridge Avenue in January 2015, when the score was again 2-0 but we left it late as Danny Johnson scored five minutes from the end and Purcell added the second goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Manager Jim MacFarlane added Teddy Nesbitt to the squad last week and he is primarily a defender.

Nesbitt started the season with East Thurrock United, then linked up briefly with Billericay Town in November, before rejoining Rocks three matches later. His last match for John Coventry’s side was against Braintree in the FA Trophy.

He has twice played against Hornchurch, in 2014-15 when he was with Billericay, and scored against us in their 3-1 win in December, when he volleyed the ball hard into the net after a defensive lapse.

Nesbitt started his senior career at Southend United and made two appearances in their first team. He has also played for Great Wakering, Concord, Aveley, Thurrock, and VCD Athletic. So will he make his Urchins debut against one of his old clubs?

We had hoped to stage our League Cup match against Dulwich Hamlet next Tuesday, but this match has now been put back two weeks due to Dulwich still being involved in the FA Trophy.

Instead we now entertain Tilbury, the match quickly being rescheduled after Saturday’s postponement.

There is one match scheduled at Bridge Avenue this week, with our reserve side due to entertain Thamesmead Town on Thursday (7.45pm).


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