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Hornchurch supporters ready for one final party at Bridge Avenue

PUBLISHED: 13:00 03 May 2016

Harlow's Alex Read celebrates after setting up the second goal for Piers Wixon against Hornchurch (pic: David Simpson/TGSPHOTO)

Harlow's Alex Read celebrates after setting up the second goal for Piers Wixon against Hornchurch (pic: David Simpson/TGSPHOTO)

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

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Hornchurch are holding their supporters’ club presentation night on Friday, when all of the players will be in attendance.

Admission is free and it all starts at 8pm, with a disco and buffet.

This club is about you, the supporters. You are the ones who keep the club going. Come along Friday and have a beer and chat.

We will also announce our Player of the Season at the presentation.

Are we disappointed after the Harlow result? Obviously, after going so close to getting back into the Premier Division of the Ryman League at the first attempt.

The season was on track up until 4.30 pm on December 5, when with Hornchurch three goals up against Bury Town, we lost Tobi Joseph with a broken leg.

We lost momentum, and the following week lost three points at relegation-threatened Heybridge Swifts. Our form was never as consistent in the second half of the season.

Sudbury deservedly won the title, though it is hard on Thurrock, who finished second, not to have also gained promotion.

The play-offs are an artificial way of keeping the interest going, but they are blatantly unfair when a team who finishes third, fourth or fifth can jump above the team who finishes second.

There are still plenty of positives to be gained from this season and Jim McFarlane made some inspired signings as we approached the run-in.

If we can hold on to players of the quality of Tambeson Eyong and Nicky Symons, plus of course George Purcell and David Knight, we have a sound springboard for next season.

What we do not have is a 3G artificial pitch, so we do not have the advantage it brings - not only on the pitch, but also the financial advantage it gives. And of course, matches are rarely postponed regardless of the weather.

Hornchurch cannot install a 3G pitch, as the ground is also shared with Havering Athletic Club, who use the pitch for javelin practice - and a sharp point from a javelin does not bode well on a 3G surface.

Given the enormous amount we pay in rent, the council need to address this problem sooner rather than later. Like it or not, and I certainly don’t like it, a 3G surface is the way forward.

There have been some excellent goalscoring performances from some of our ex-Urchins this season. In the Premier Division, Sam Higgins, now at East Thurrock, won the Golden Boot award with 38 goals, while Martin Tuohy (Canvey Island) and Nathan Elder (Tonbridge) came joint third with 24 league goals.

In our own division, Ross Wall (Thurrock) and Junior Dadson (Harlow) both scored 18 times in league matches. And in the Southern League, Kieran Bishop, now back at Ware, scored 23 league goals.

Our own George Purcell finished on a record-breaking 41 goals, although only 33 of them counted for the Golden Boot, which only includes goals scored in the league.

David Knight had a very impressive season and scored 20 in the league plus another six in cup competitions.

And just to put Tobi Joseph’s influence into perspective, he is still our third highest scorer, on nine league and six cup goals, despite playing in less than half of our matches.

Next season we will lose, subject to reprieves, Barkingside, Redbridge and Wroxham, and will gain Brentwood Town and VCD Athletic from the Premier Division, along with Bowers & Pitsea, who won the Essex Senior League.

It’s been a good, albeit disappointing season, and we now look forward to next season, which is only nine weeks away.

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