The AFC Hornchurch blog
PUBLISHED: 19:00 15 November 2018
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It was a bright and sunny day at Brightlingsea. We had a large following, making up almost half of the crowd.
And most of them were still changing ends when, with just 70 seconds on the clock, a speculative long range lobbed shot sailed out of the sun, over Callum Chafer in goal, and into the net, and we were a goal down.
Brightlingsea rarely threatened, and Chafer only had one other shot to save, until, with seven minutes left, a free kick on from the left wing ended up in the net.
In between we had more than enough opportunities to force a replay.
Leon McKenzie headed an equalizer on the half hour, he hit the post and bar, we appeared to have the ball in the net almost on half time, but after thirty seconds of confusion the referee booked Lewwis Spence and awarded a free kick.
We kept up a constant siege of the home goal in the final ten minutes, and the match ended with every player inside the home half, but one thing we could not go, and that was get the ball into the net for a second time.
No excuses, we did not take out chances, we let in two goals due to defensive errors, and we went out of the FA Trophy.
We now return to league fixtures, with the visit of Worthing on Saturday. They are pushing hard for a play off place, and it is not going to be easy to halt our losing run.
It is only on rare occasions that we play a club for the first time, but this season we have had ‘first encounters’ at Dorking Wanderers, East Grinstead, Burgess Hill, Benfleet and Coggeshall.
And, thanks to Coggeshall playing a couple of ineligible players, we now meet yet another club for the first time, in the shape of tonight’s visitors. Chipstead, this coming Tuesday.
You could argue that Dorking Wanderers is not a newcomer, but when we went there a few weeks back, they insisted that there was no connection with the old Dorking FC, much to the surprise of our resident historians.
We have also encountered, or will encounter, a growing number of artificial pitches, i.e. 3G surfaces - We have already been to Dorking, with its showers of black pellets, and we also went to Margate, but was unable to sample the new surface due to a power cut, and we have still to go to Harlow, Haringey, Carshalton and Worthing, plus of course back to Margate. And we go to Haringey on Saturday week.
With the news that we have applied to change our name back to Hornchurch FC, this season could mark the end of AFC Hornchurch, a name we have used for the last fourteen years, following our financial difficulties in our first Conference season.
This is not the first time that we have tried to revert to Hornchurch FC. An attempt was made to go back to Hornchurch FC at the commencement of 2008-09, but this was rejected, as the AFC prefix was mandatory for five years.
Other names have been briefly suggested at various times. Going back to 1963, the name of Havering FC was considered, when the new London Borough of Havering was formed. It was not a popular suggestion, and nothing came of it.
Havering Borough FC – this name was suggested in 1991, with a view to attracting support from a wider area in the borough of Havering.
This also was not a popular choice and nothing came of it.
Hornchurch & Upminster FC – This was suggested in 2002, but the name change was refused by the Football Association as it might give he impression that they had merged with Upminster FC, who play in the Essex Olympian League.
And how about Hornchurch & Romford FC? – this was never a suggestion, but could have occurred, when, in January 1975, a letter was received from Romford FC, (the club that played at Brooklands, not the current Romford FC), requesting a ground share at the Stadium. T
he Hornchurch committee rejected the request on the grounds of fixture congestion, and because such a groundshare could jeopardize any application for the Isthmian League. Had the ground share actually occurred, would there have eventually been a merger?