The AFC Hornchurch blog
PUBLISHED: 18:00 20 September 2018
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It was quite a memorable day at Dorking last Saturday - three goals up at the interval, near misses either side of half time, and a remarkable comeback by the home side, not to mention the impressive Box Hill looming up behind one goal.
But the main memory is the clouds of black pellets that rose up out of the 3G surface whenever the ball bounced, and even when a player kicked the ball.
Surely, if 3G is really the way forward, something needs to be done to prevent the goalkeeper being hit in the face every time he goes down for the ball.
We have played on grass, on mud, on sand, on bumpy pitches, on sloping pitches, on waterlogged surfaces, and on artificial surfaces, but this must be the first time that we have had to play, particularly in the second half, on a carpet of black rubber pellets.
It was the first time we have played Dorking Wanderers, whose officials were quick to point out that they had no connection with the previous Dorking FC.
It was not the first time we have played on the Dorking ground, although it has been completely renovated since we were last there sixteen years ago, in the process taking away all its quaint character, but it is one of the few remaining grounds in the centre of a town, and with a very impressive area of parkland alongside.
There was another ‘’first’ at Dorking - Lewwis Spence scored his first ever goal for his new club, after his move from Thurrock last season.
We were involved in the league cup on Tuesday, when a much-changed starting line up, missing six of the players who started at Dorking, did just enough to beat Basildon Utd by the only goal of the game, scored by Brad Warner.
It was a comfortable win, if a single goal victory can be called comfortable, and we were only troubled in the four minutes added on for stoppages, when Basildon threw everyone forward, including their goalkeeper.
Callum Chafer made his only save of the match, and another shot hit the post, but at least we avoided the dreaded penalty shoot out.
We are now at home to Coggeshall Town in the next round. And it will be the first time ever that we have met Coggeshall Town.
But it is FA Cup time on Saturday, It is yet another first, when we entertain East Grinstead Town.
The FA Cup has given us quite a lot of matches against teams we have never played before (or since), the most memorable of which was Tranmere Rovers, when he lost by the only goal of the game, after a Vinnie John goal had been disallowed and a penalty appeal rejected.
East Grinstead suffered a 9-2 defeat at the hands of Hastings Utd in the League Cup in midweek, but the result is fairly meaningless as hardly any of he East Grinstead team had played in their previous league match, and the league cup seems to be something that many clubs just want to get out of the way.
And, regardless of their position at the wrong end of the South Eastern Division of the league table, we cannot assume it will be an easy passage into the next round.