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Hornchurch blog: A day of surprises at Worthing

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 August 2019

Joe Wright of Hornchurch during Hornchurch vs Dagenham & Redbridge, Friendly Match Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 27th July 2019

Joe Wright of Hornchurch during Hornchurch vs Dagenham & Redbridge, Friendly Match Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 27th July 2019

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Chris Dickson of Hornchurch scores the first goal for his team and celebrates during Hornchurch vs Margate, BetVictor League Premier Division Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 13th August 2019Chris Dickson of Hornchurch scores the first goal for his team and celebrates during Hornchurch vs Margate, BetVictor League Premier Division Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 13th August 2019

It was a day of surprises at Worthing.

We went there at the end of last season and came away with a 3-1 defeat, and we went back again on Saturday with some trepidation, as Worthing are tipped to be one of the teams challenging for the play-offs, and to make things worse they have an artificial pitch, which not all that long ago had to be ripped up and replaced.

We had a few surprises when the team was announced - Jordan Clark at right back, Mickey Parcell at left back, with George Winn and Mitchell Dickenson the two centre halves (or is it centre backs?).

And no Lewwis Spence, with Matt Johnson taking over as captain for the day, with our new signing, Daniel Akindayini on the bench.

It's not often you win by six goals, and usually the player of the match is one of the forwards.

And though there is no doubt that Chris Dickson, who scored three goals, deserves that honour, we have to look to Joe Wright in goal for keeping us on level terms in the first 45 minutes.

Wright made two excellent saves in the first half, as Worthing, after an even start, turned on the pressure towards the end of the half, and we were happy to go in on level terms, little aware of what was to come.

Nil nil at the break, and then came an incredible second 45 minutes.

Chris Dickson led the way with a well-taken opener, and the same player scored our second with an almost identical shot that curled over the keeper and into the net.

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Daniel Uchechi had a prominent role in our third goal, playing the ball through to Ronnie Winn, whose pace left his marker trailing, and he finished off in fine style.

Chris Dickson completed his hat-trick with a brilliant solo run that left the defenders far behind, and Uchechi then sent over an inviting call into the middle and Ronnie Winn gratefully accepted the invitation.

Worthing fans were relieved when Dickson and Uchechi were taken off, but their relief was short-lived, and Akindayini and Charlie Stimson came on, and within a couple of minutes the two linked up as the later lobbed the ball home from the edge of the area.

It was also a record for Hornchurch, as they have never previously gone in goalless at half time and clocked up six after the interval.

It is not our highest ever away win - in 1949 Upminster beat Stanstead 8-1 in the Spartan League, in 1954 Hornchurch & Upminster won 8-1 at Hemel Hempstead, and in 1971 Hornchurch won 8-1 at Grays.

AFC Hornchurch won 7-0 at Witham in 2006, and six goals away from home have been achieved on nine occasions, but we are not complaining.

Worthing can consider themselves unfortunate to find Hornchurch in such devastating form, but let's not forget that Joe Wight in goal made two first half saves which effectively set us up for what was to come.

A downside to the game was an injury to the Worthing captain, Darren Budd, who was stretched off early in the second half, and was diagnosed with a possible broken fibula, an injury that could keep him out for some considerable time.

But as one of our supporters tactfully put it - All in all a lovely day on the South coast although I'm not sure what was going on with the pitch, it smelt like being in a Kwik-Fit.

With no midweek game, our next match is at home to Kingstonian on Saturday.

The K's have a much-changed side from last season, having a new manager who brought with him the majority of last season's Merstham side.

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