The AFC Hornchurch blog
PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 November 2018
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Our disappointing form continued with a single goal defeat at Bishop’s Stortford, and we have now lost four out of our last five league games, with injuries playing a prominent role.
We have lost Nathan Cooper, Kenzer Lee, Nathan Livings, all with long term injuries, and no sooner does one come back, than we lose another with injury.
The latest was Nana Boakye-Yiadom after he scored twice in the first three minutes against Ramsgate, almost added two more in the next twenty minutes, he then had to go off with an injury.
To make it worse, Lewwis Spence had to sit out much of the Bishop’s Stortford match due to the after-affects of flu.
On the plus side, George Saunders came back and was in devastating form in our midweek Essex Senior Cup win over Benfleet.
We have never played Benfleet before, and we were impressed with their enthusiasm and although we ran in five goals, it was not the one-sided affair that most of us expected.
Our reward is a home game against Great Wakering in the next round.
George Purcell twice went close at Stortford, and Leon McKenzie had a goal disallowed for a dubious offside, as well as having a header tipped onto the bar, but the only goal of the game came at a time when we were beginning to get on top, and it came at the wrong time, just before the interval.
And then came the big question - Who scored the goal? The announcer gave it to the Stortford number eight, but others thought it was an own goal.
The report on the Stortford web site gives it to another home player, but after Callum Chafer had saved the original shot, the ball appears to have hit one or maybe two Hornchurch players before going into the net.
So for the second match in a row we conceded an own goal which ultimately cost us five points, two against Merstham when Leon Smith diverted a cross into his own net, and three at Stortford, where, the ball hit Connor Hogan and went in.
Incredibly there was a third own goal in our match against Benfleet, when Lewwis Spence’s cross hit the visiting number five and went in for our fifth goal.
It is three own goals in three successive matches, a record we do not want to be extended.
The Benfleet officials were very enthusiastic when talking about their first ever season as a senior club.
They are groundsharing at Canvey Island as their own ground lacks floodlights and a spectator facilities.
But they are attracting crowds of up to 150 for each home game, and helped to se up a record attendance in the newly formed Eastern Counties (Division 1South) league, when over 500 turned for their match at Hashtag United.
We had another ‘first ever’ for the Benfleet match, when we issued two different programmes.
With the prospect of a very small turnout, which in turn would mean a loss on programme sales, the decision was made to produce a smaller programme for this game.
It was home produced and consisted of four pages, and was given away free.
In addition we produced a much larger digital programme, which contained all the usual information, and which was available as a free download, either to a cell phone or to a laptop, and this has proved so far to be very popular, with far more people clicking on the link on our web site than actually attended the match itself.
A number of clubs have gone down the digital route, but none have had both a digital edition and a hard copy edition, and the experiment appears to have been a success.
We take a break from the league this weekend when we travel to Brightlingsea in the FA Trophy.
We fell behind to an early goal, but gained a point when Brad Warner ran on to a George Purcell pass to equalize midway through the second-half.
If it goes to a replay, it will take place on Tuesday, but we are otherwise without a midweek game.