LCS Events
7:45pm - TuesdayTue 31st JulyJul 2012
| Att: 91

AFC Hornchurch
AFC Hornchurch
1 - 1


Cards off to Hornchurch

Brian Caffarey
4:31pm, Mon 30th Jul 2012
AFC Hornchurch v Woking
Pre-season friendly
7.45pm on Tuesday 31 July 2012

Garry Hill returns to one of his former clubs tomorrow (Tuesday) evening when he takes the Cards to an additional pre-season friendly with AFC Hornchurch, who start this season in the Blue Square South following their promotion last year. No doubt Garry will want to have another look at some triallists but with only one more friendly subsequently he will also want to start bedding in at least the main elements of his first-choice side.


The Cards followed up encouraging performances against League sides Crawley Town and AFC Wimbledon and a reserve QPR side with a 1-1 draw at Carshalton Athletic on Saturday. Triallists Rene Steer, Dean Sinclair and Jesse Waller-Lassen were on view again, whilst there were two new faces in Nathaniel Pinney (previously on loan to Woking from Crystal Palace) and George Saunders.


The Urchins lost their opening pre-season friendly 1-0 at Brentwood, then won away 1-0 at East Thurrock and, on Saturday, lost 2-1 at Canvey Island. A number of familiar names have appeared so far, including former Cards Reiss Noel and Joe Anderson, plus Fola Orinolishe, Leon McKenzie and keeper Joe Woolley. Paul Goodacre (a defender from Dartford), Sam Cutler (midfielder released by Dover) and Alex Bentley (a defender formerly with Dagenham and Redbridge) have recently signed.


The Stadium
Bridge Avenue
RM14 2LX

Tel: 01708 220080

Official website:

By car

Head for the Dartford Tunnel. Leave at J29 (A127, Southend/Basildon). About a mile further on turn right onto B186 (Upminster/South Ockenden). Then at roundabout take second exit onto B187 (Cranham/Upminster/Romford). Continue forward onto A124. After about 700 yards turn left onto Bridge Avenue.

By train

The stadium is a couple of minutes’ walk from Upminster Bridge tube station on the District Line. Take the Jubilee Line from Waterloo to West Ham and change there onto the District Line. Trains also run from Fenchurch Street to Upminster station.


The Cards’ final friendly is this Saturday, 4 August, when they host neighbours Aldershot Town. Kick-off is at 3pm.

Woking’s BSP campaign starts with a trip to Wrexham, last season’s runners-up, on Saturday 11 August, followed by two home games: on Tuesday 14 August (v Dartford) and on Saturday 18 August (v Barrow).

Come on, you Cards!

Cards draw again

Bob Cumming
2:20pm, Wed 1st Aug 2012
AFC Hornchurch 1 Woking 1
Pre-Season Friendly
31st July 2012

This was Woking’s first visit to the wide expanses of the athletics ground at “The Stadium in Upminster “ since a 1984-85 Isthmian League Divison One encounter against Hornchurch. That club folded in 2005 and were reborn as AFC Hornchurch. However, Garry Hill was returning to one of his previous clubs, and used this fixture to run the eye over two new trialists.

Brett Williams, who made his name as a free-scoring forward with Eastleigh and was snapped up by Reading for a big fee in January 2011, has since struggled to regain that form, led the line for the whole match. Nathan Livings, an academy player with Chelsea and Bristol City, who has more recently spent time with Undroms IF in Sweden and the Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain, was a lively addition for much of the second half.

Woking started with a flexible 4-3-3 with Howe in goal, Newton, McNerney, Johnson and Doyle across the back, Ricketts (pictured), Sawyer and Betsy in midfield, with Pires, Bubb and Williams switching positions constantly up front.

Hornchurch started strongly in front of the 80 fans who had dragged themselves away from the Olympics on the TV, or indeed from the nearby Olympic Park. Within four minutes Mark Ricketts conceded a foul on the edge of the box and ex-Card Jonathon Hunt struck his low free-kick through the wall and past the despairing dive of Aaron Howe just inside the near post. Hunt had joined Woking on loan from Barnet in 1991 before a meritorious career at several leading clubs in the pro-game, and continues to be influential at the age of 40.

Hornchurch controlled the first twenty minutes, working particularly well down their right flank, and had a good outlet in pacy forward Lewis Smith, who seemed to be involved in everything.

Slowly Cards’ Mark Ricketts marshalled the midfield back into the game, releasing Kevin Betsy for several crosses into the box. On 28 minutes Bradley Bubb put Loick Pires through but a perfect challenge by former Dartford defender, Paul Goodacre,on the penalty spot snuffed any danger.

Three minutes later Woking had their first direct shot on goal from a Lee Sawyer free-kick. Moments later Pires had another opportunity but was bundled out of contention by former Card Reiss Noel.

On 37 minutes Woking should have been two down. Hunt lobbed Joe McNerney for Smith to run on and fire a low shot that drew a brilliant save by Aaron Howe.

Woking struggled to contend with the Urchins' robust, but fair, play throughout the half.

Half time: AFC Hornchurch 1 Woking 0

Both sides started the second half with the same line-up, and the same pattern of play continued with Hornchurch pressing, then out of nothing the ball drifted over to Loick Pires in the box, to the left of goal, and instantly he slotted home at the near post for a 51st minute goal.

Garry Hill and Matt Howard started to make the changes on 55 minutes, bringing on Renee Steer, Nathan Livings and Jack Parkinson for Adam Doyle, Loick Pires and Joe McNerney respectively.

Hornchurch continued with the initiative, with Smith and Tuohy probing the Cards' defence. However, it was a back header from Brett Johnson that brought a quick reaction save from his own keeper, Howe palming the ball over the bar.

Woking made further substitutions on 65 minutes: Dean Sinclair for Adam Newton, Jay Davies for Lee Sawyer and Jesse Waller-Lassen for Kevin Betsy, and ten minutes later were forced to bring Kevin Betsy back on when Renee Steer went down injured under a heavy challenge. Steer was carried off the pitch and later stretchered back to the dressing rooms.

The closing section of the game had Woking in control, Davies, Waller-Lassen and Sinclair buttoning up midfield, Ricketts, Parkinson and Johnson sealing the defence, and some more inventive play up front culminating in a tremendous drive by Brett Williams that drew a superb diving save from keeper Woolley. Livings had one opportunity but he skied his shot over the bar. Brett Johnson looks to be a constant threat in the box from set pieces and set up Jay Davies late in the game, but the midfielder shot wide.

At the end of the game the few travelling Woking fans were left pondering over the various formations available to Garry Hill, particularly in front of goal. On this showing Hornchurch should be, at least, a mid-table proposition in Blue Square Bet South.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton (Dean Sinclair 65’), Adam Doyle (Rene Steer 55’, Kevin Betsy 76’), Mark Ricketts, Joe McNerney (Jack Parkinson 55’), Brett Johnson, Loick Pires (Nathan Livings 55’), Lee Sawyer (Jay Davies 65’), Bradley Bubb, Brett Williams, Kevin Betsy (Jesse Waller-Lassen 65’)

Scorer: Pires 51’

Hornchurch: Joe Woolley, James Love (Andy Tomlinson 70’), Jack Bentley, Reiss Noel, Paul Goodacre (Elliott Styles 59’), Sam Cutler, Jonathan Hunt, Simon Glover, Martin Tuohy (Aaron Gayle 77’), Lewis Smith (Leon McKenzie 77’), Fola Orilonishe.

Subs not used: Tamerong Eyong, Joey May, Frankie Curley

Scorer: Hunt 4’

MOTM: Mark Ricketts – impressively competitive in midfield and defence.

Attendance: approx. 80

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