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Returning stars can help Urchins’ promotion charge

PUBLISHED: 13:00 23 November 2015

Action from Hornchurch's trip to Brightlingsea Regent (pic: Ray Lawrence/TGS Photo)

Action from Hornchurch's trip to Brightlingsea Regent (pic: Ray Lawrence/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 8450 946026

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After the return of Leon McKenzie to the team last week, it was a surprise to many when Paul Goodacre played against Cheshunt. Paul had one previous spell with the Urchins in our Conference South season 2012-13, when he made 25 appearances. So it’s welcome back Paul!

When Joey May scored twice at wind-swept Cheshunt last Tuesday many of our supporters asked when he last scored two goals in a game.

Joey has made 136 appearances for the club. His first goal for the Urchins was at home to Truro in April 2013, and then against Wealdstone in October 2013 – both these goals came on 51 minutes.

He scored against Bowers two weeks later, on 84 minutes, and against the Metropolitan Police in the final match of last season on 53 minutes.

His only other goal was in the gale at Peacehaven, also on 51 minutes. The Cheshunt match was the only time Joey has scored twice, on 59 and 89 minutes, so he has still to score a goal during the first half of a match!

Brightlingsea enjoyed their largest league attendance of the season for the visit of Hornchurch, some thirty percent up on their average, and this was largely due to the away support, which seems to be increasing with every match.

For those who travelled with the team coach it proved to be an interesting experience, as the coach could not get through the incredibly narrow approach roads, and eventually, after two circuits of the ground, had to park on the far side in a cul-de-sac.

The next problem was how to get into the ground as the gate on that side was locked. So players and supporters walked along a muddy grass track (it had been pouring with rain for much of the morning), and then across the playing surface and into the clubhouse.

We were left wondering who scored the equaliser in the second minute of stoppage time, and no one seemed to know for certain. Supporters behind the goal named Calvin Poku, Tobi Joseph, Leon McKenzie, Charlie Dove, and possibly an own goal, but the correct answer, as provided by the players after the match, was Tobi Joseph, which brings his tally for the season to fourteen.

We are beginning to think that May likes to play when it is blowing a gale, for not only did he score at Peacehaven and Cheshunt, but it was his corner kick which led to the goal in the 40 mph gusting wind at Brightlingsea.

It was a reunion of ex-Urchins at Witham last Saturday. The home side fielded Aaron Gayle, Simon Glover and Sam Baffour, whilst visiting Romford included Richard Wray, Tom Potter and Liam Burgess in their side.

It was a similar story at Thurrock, where Joe Christou and Ross Wall turned out for the Fleet whilst Callum Chafer (on loan), Billy Drake, Manny Sackey and Bostry Bansende played for Redbridge. Manny Sackey? Yes, he played once for Hornchurch, in a pre-season match against Maidstone in August 2011, when he replaced Michael Spencer in the 79th minute.

We have two home matches this week – Harlow visit the Bridge on Tuesday and Haringey Borough on Saturday, and then we travel to Ship Lane to play Thurrock the following Tuesday, where we intend to provide them with their largest league attendance of the season.

We hope to have the new club shop up and running for the visit of Haringey, but in the event that it is not ready, then we will still use the old portacabin alongside the boardroom.

And congratulations to our under-21 Reserve team who beat Old Barkabbeyans in the Essex Premier Cup by 3-0 on Saturday. They now have to travel to Weeley Athletic in January, after they beat Ramsden Scotia by six goals to one.

Weeley play in the Essex & Suffolk Border League and it will be the first time ever that a Hornchurch team have played there.

Our next Quiz Night is scheduled for December 4, at 7.30 pm in the social club, with the usual admission price of £4 per person.

And then comes our New Year’s Eve function on December 31, which is likely to be a sell-out, so if you want to go to this one, it is advisable to book in advance. The price is £45, which includes drinks, buffet and disco.


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