Urchins trip for Blues
Blues return to action on Saturday when they travel to 15th placed AFC Hornchurch where they will look to repeat November’s 1-0 home win against the east London side. Ryan Charles’ deflected effort proved to be the difference between the sides that day.
While Saturday’s win against Haringey moved Blues up to 12th, the Urchins still need a couple of wins from their remaining seven games to end any relegation fears, and they go into the game against Stortford with 42 points from 35 games.
They reached the FA Cup third qualifying round with home wins against harrow borough and East Grinstead Town before losing at Hampton & Richmond Borough, while in the FA Trophy they hammered Ramsgate Town 6-0 before losing to league rivals Brightlingsea Regent.
Hornchurch continued their rollercoaster existence by winning the Bostik North last season with 103 points from 46 games, and have made a reasonable start back at step 3 of the non-league system and are currently 12th in the table with 15 points from 12 games.
They progressed to the FA Cup third qualifying round with wins against Harrow Borough and East Grinstead Town before losing at Hampton & Richmond Borough, and joined Blues in the next stage of the FA Trophy with a 6-0 hammering of Ramsgate Town.
Formed in the summer of 2005 from the ashes of Hornchurch FC following their spectacular rise from Division Three of the Isthmian League to Conference South in the space of four years before going bust, The new club reached Conference South by 2012/13 but were denied the chance to face the Blue Brazil by a crazy idea that we were northern. The clubs did meet in November 2012 with Blues winning 3-2 at The Stadium in the FA Trophy third qualifying round thanks to a sparkling performance by Ali Abdulahi
We also met in a pre-season friendly in July 2014 with Blues winning 1-0 and the new Urchins returned to the ProKit on a freezing January night in 2017 and won 3-2 despite late goals from Aaron Greene and Greg Cundle.
They strolled to the Bostik North title last season, getting within three goals of a century and it was a fitting tribute to secretary Pete Butcher, the greatest local sports journalist I ever met. They reached the FA Cup third qualifying round before going down 2-0 at Southern League champions Hereford but their FA Trophy campaign ended at the first hurdle when they lost a home replay against Thamesmead Town.