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Hornchurch 2
Cooper (16' og), Wraight (75')
1 Kingstonian
Ajakaiye (36')

Grier's Guide to Hornchurch

The game: Hornchurch v Kingstonian, Isthmian Premier. Saturday 4 December, 15:00

The club: Reformed in 2005 after the original club went bust, they quickly won their way back into the Isthmian League. They beat us in an agonising playoff semi-final in 2014, Alan Dowson's last game in charge of Ks, before losing 3-0 to Lowestoft in the final. They won last season's FA Trophy, an astonishing achievement for a step 3 club.

The town: Suburb on the London/Essex border, though the ground is in neighbouring Upminster. It hosted an important RAF airfield during the two world wars, which has since been converted into housing and Hornchurch Country Park.

The ground: Bridge Avenue, Upminster, Essex, RM14 2LX. The ground is surrounded by a running track and you can't really see anything from behind either goal but there are covered stands and terraces down both sides of the pitch.

Directions: It's an eight minute walk from Upminster Bridge tube, one stop from the very end of the District Line. But crawling all the way from Wimbledon takes the best part of an hour and a half, so a fast train to Upminster from either Fenchurch St or West Ham, followed by a bus, tube or 15 minute walk, is the better option. The drive will be about an hour and a half, with parking available in the streets near the ground.

Our record there: Mostly poor, as you have to go all the way back to 1984 for Ks' last win away to the Urchins. On our last visit we lost 3-0 early in Hayden Bird's reign.

Current form: Currently 12th in the league but with only one defeat, to league leaders Worthing, in their last five. We beat them 2-0 at King George's Field in August.

Players to watch: Sam Higgins and Liam Nash are top scorers with ten apiece - Higgins scored some 275 goals in ten seasons at East Thurrock. Centre-back Rickie Hayles scored the only goal of the game when they beat us in that playoff semi-final.

Crowd: Similar in number to our crowds, although the inability to go behind the goal means fans can be quite spread out which affects the atmosphere.

Drinking: The only pub between Upminster Bridge and the ground is Greene King's The Windmill. In Upminster, the Upminster Taproom is a micropub focusing on real ale and a lengthy gin menu, and the Junction has big screen sports and a pool table. 

Food: The row of shops by Upminster Bridge tube includes a chippie, a bakery and a curry house. 


Published Wednesday 1st December 2021