The AFC Hornchurch blog
PUBLISHED: 18:00 14 February 2019
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It’s been a weekend of disappointment, starting with the two goal defeat at Bognor Regis, where our disturbing tendency in recent matches to let in goals either side of half time let us down yet again.
To make things worse, we lost Glenn Wilson with an injury just nine minutes into the match, and although we had an equal share of the play, we came away empty handed.
We then had the news that Jay Porter had been released. Jay joined us at the start of last season, and had been ever present in our team, invariably at left back, and he made 91 appearances in all, scoring three goals.
Prior to joining Hornchurch, Jay spent five seasons at Thamesmead Town, making 126 appearances, and going back further he was at Redbridge in 2012.
Only four of last season’s title winning squad is still with us at Bridge Avenue - Alex Bentley, Kenzer Lee, George Purcell, and Nathan Cooper, who had been out with a long-term injury.
We welcome back Remi Sutton, who made his debut at Bognor Regis. He joins us from Enfield Town, for whom he made thirty appearances this season, including playing against us at Donkey Lane at the start of the season.
Yes, it is welcome back to Remi, as he played for us in the 2008-09 season in the Capital League.
He later played for Canvey Island, though only twice, and four times for Great Wakering, before joining Mark Stimson at Thurrock.
Apart from a brief spell at Greenwich Borough, he was at Thurrock for five seasons, and he made 200 appearances for the Ship Lane club,
It’s interesting to note that no fewer than seven of the team that featured in Thurrock’s last ever match are now here at Bridge Avenue, plus Joe Christou, another ex-Thurrock player but with East Thurrock in between.
And it could easily have been eight in that final Thurrock team, as Dexter Peter also played, and he featured in our pre-season build up, but is now a regular in the Coggeshall line up.
Although there have been numerous changes since Mark Stimson took over, this is not so much a surprise at it might first appear.
In our one Essex Senior League season none of the players had featured in any of the previous season’s matches, and when Colin McBride took charge the following season, in our first match under his charge, only one player, Jordan Bostock, played for us in the Essex Senior League, with three others on the bench, and none of them stayed for more than a few weeks.
Colin’s first match in charge was also against our visitors on Saturday, Enfield Town, who were ground sharing at Ware at the time.
We entertained Bracknell Town on Tuesday in the semi final of the Velocity Trophy, otherwise known as the Isthmian League Cup, and, with no pressure on us to take three points, we eventually won by three goals to two, with Alex Bentley, Charlie Stimson and George Purcell scoring.
There is not a great deal of interest in the league cup, as witnessed by a very low turn-out of only 123 paying spectators, but those that were there agreed that it was one of our best performances since Mark Stimson took over.
We now play Enfield Town in the final, which will take place at Aveley in April.
By coincidence we welcome Enfield Town on Saturday, in the knowledge that, in our 2-2 draw at the start of the season, only three of our team are likely to be included in the squad.
It is fair to say that we were fortunate to come away with a point on that occasion, as Enfield were two goals up and could easily have had a couple more.
It all changed when Brad Warner fired home a long-range free kick fifteen minutes from time, and, as our large travelling support will testify, we salvaged a point in the final few seconds of stoppage time when George Saunders crossed low into the goalmouth, and Sean Marks finished it off, setting off celebrations that almost rivalled the scenes at Weymouth a few seasons back.
And of course there will be an added incentive for us to do well on Saturday, as Remi Sutton will most likely make his home debut against his old club.
Which leaves us wondering who will take his place at left back for Enfield?