Hornchurch F.C.

Last updated

Hornchurch
Hornchurchfc.png
Full nameHornchurch Football Club
Nickname(s)The Urchins
Founded1923
2005 (reformed)
Ground Hornchurch Stadium, Upminster
Capacity3,500 (800 seated) [1]
ChairmanAlex Sharp
Manager Mark Stimson
League Isthmian League Premier Division
2020–21 Isthmian League Premier Division (season curtailed)

Hornchurch Football Club is a football club based in Upminster, England. They are currently members of the Isthmian League Premier Division and play at the Hornchurch Stadium.

Contents

History

The original club was established in 1923 as Upminster Wanderers. [2] They joined the Romford League, which they remained members of until moving up to Division Two East of the Spartan League in 1938, at which point the club adopted the name Upminster Football Club. [2] [3] After spending the 1945–46 season back in the Romford League, winning the league title and the Essex Junior Cup, the club returned to the lower divisions of the Spartan League the following season. [2] The club were promoted to the Premier Division of the league in 1950–51, but left to join the Delphian League in 1952, at which point another name change (this time due to a move to the Hornchurch Stadium) saw them become Hornchurch & Upminster. [2]

Hornchurch & Upminster were Delphian League runners-up in 1958–59, after which the club transferred to the Athenian League. In 1961 they were renamed Hornchurch Football Club. [4] The Athenian League was expanded in 1963, with Hornchurch becoming members of the Premier Division. They were relegated to Division One after finishing bottom of the Premier Division in 1965–66, but won the Division One title the following season to make an immediate return to the Premier Division. The yo-yoing between divisions continued as they were relegated again in 1967–68, promoted from Division One after finishing third in 1970–71, and then relegated again at the end of the 1972–73 season. [5]

In 1975 Hornchurch transferred to Division Two of the Isthmian League, which was renamed Division One in 1977. [5] The club were relegated to Division Two at the end of the 1977–78 season saw them relegated to Division Two. In 1980–81 they were Division Two runners-up, earning promotion to Division One. League restructuring led to the club being placed in Division Two North for the 1986–87 season, before another reorganisation in 1991 saw them moved to Division Three. [5] In 2001–02 the club were Division Three runners-up and were promoted to Division One. [5]

Hornchurch went on to finish as runners-up in Division One North in 2002–03 and were promoted to the Premier Division. The 2003–04 season saw the club reach the first round of the FA Cup for the first time. After beating Third Division Darlington 2–0 in the first round, they lost 1–0 to Tranmere Rovers in the second. [5] A fifth-place finish in the Premier Division that season (despite a 10-point deduction for going into administration) was also enough for the club to earn a place in the new Conference South. Their first season in the Conference South saw them reach the FA Cup first round again. However, shortly before the match the entire squad was released due to financial problems. [2] With several debutants and youth players, the team lost the match against Boston United 5–2, and subsequently folded the season, the club folded. [5]

The club was quickly reformed under the name AFC Hornchurch, [2] and were placed in the Essex Senior League (three levels below the Conference South) by the Football Association on 19 May. [6] In their first season they won the league, as well as the League Cup and the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy. [2] Promoted to Division One North of the Isthmian League, the club won that division in 2006–07 to earn promotion to the Premier Division. In 2007–08 AFC Hornchurch finished fourth in the Premier Division, qualifying for the promotion play-offs, in which they were beaten 3–1 by AFC Wimbledon in the semi-finals. [7] The 2008–09 saw the club finish sixth, missing out on the play-offs. They also reached the first round of the FA Cup, losing 1–0 at home to Peterborough United. [8] Although they entered administration in May 2009, [9] the club managed to survive. After a ninth-placed finish in 2009–10 and coming tenth in 2010–11, they were runners-up in 2011–12, qualifying for the play-offs. Following a 3–1 win over Bury Town in the semi-finals, they defeated Lowestoft Town 2–1 in the final, earning promotion to the Conference South. [8]

Their first season in the Conference South saw AFC Hornchurch finish 20th, resulting in relegation back to the Isthmian League Premier Division. The 2013–14 resulted in a fifth-placed finish and qualification for the promotion play-offs. In a repeat of the 2011 final, they faced Lowestoft Town following a 1–0 win over Kingstonian in the semi-finals. On this occasion, they lost 3–0 to the Suffolk club. [8] The following season saw them finish 23rd out of 24 clubs in the Premier Division and relegation to Division One North. They finished fifth in 2015–16, again qualifying for the promotion play-offs. After beating Thurrock 2–0 in the semi-final, they were beaten 3–1 by Harlow Town. [10] In 2016–17 a fourth-place finish led to another playoff campaign, with the club losing 1–0 to Thurrock in the semi-finals.

AFC Hornchurch were champions of the renamed North Division in 2017–18, earning promotion back to the Premier Division. At the end of the following season they were renamed Hornchurch Football Club. In 2020–21 the club won the FA Trophy for the first time, defeating Hereford 3–1 in the final. [11]

Season-by-season record

Honours

Records

See also

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References

  1. Mike Williams & Tony Williams (2012) Non-League Club Directory 2013, p253 ISBN   978-1-869833-77-0
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 A Brief History Hornchurch F.C.
  3. Spartan League 1934–1955 Non-League Matters
  4. Hornchurch & Upminster at the Football Club History Database
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Hornchurch at the Football Club History Database
  6. Urchins Go Bust Digger Dagger, 17 May 2005
  7. 2007-08 Isthmian League Football Club History Database
  8. 1 2 3 AFC Hornchurch at the Football Club History Database
  9. Hornchurch enter administration BBC Sport, 19 May 2009
  10. The rags to riches fairytale as Harlow Town FC seal promotion amid a bright future Harlow Star, 5 May 2016
  11. Hornchurch sink Hereford to claim unlikely FA Trophy win The Guardian, 22 May 2021