Hornchurch vs Aveley

Programme of the Week AFC Hornchurch vs Aveley 6th April 1985

The latest in a series about football programmes from my collection that relate to a game being played in the next few days.

AFC Hornchurch vs Aveley 2019 / 2020

Happy New Year to one and all. We restart Programme of the Week with a local non-league derby in Essex; AFC Hornchurch vs Aveley. Separated by just 6 miles these two teams were both formed in the 1920’s.
This weekend they meet in the 2nd round of the F.A. Trophy. This is the 7th round of the tournament, which kicked off in September 2019 with the Extra Preliminary Round. Aveley joined in the Preliminary round, winning 5-0 away at East Grinstead Town. In the next round, they beat Bowers & Pitsea 3-0 at home.

1st Round Qualifying

Hornchurch entered the competition at this stage and beat Berkhamstead 3-1 at the Hornchurch Stadium.
Both teams were drawn away from home in the 2nd round qualifying. Aveley travelled to Somerset to meet Taunton Town, while Hornchurch popped down the A127 to play Basildon United. Aveley came back with a creditable 3-3 draw and beat Taunton Town 2-1 at Parkside in the replay.
No problems for the Urchins, who beat their near neighbours 6-1.
It was the opposite scenario in the 3rd round qualifying. Aveley travelled away to Biggleswade Town and won 4-1. However, Hornchurch could only draw 1-1 with Oxford City at Court Place Farm.
The replay at the Hornchurch Stadium ended 4-4 and Hornchurch went through via a 4-1 penalty shoot out.

First Round Proper

So to the first round proper, when the big boys from the National League arrived. Hornchurch drew Dulwich Hamlet and won 1-0 at home.
Aveley travelled to Carshalton Athletic and drew 3-3. In the resultant replay, Aveley won 2-0.
And so to Saturday at the Hornchurch Stadium. The Urchins are playing in the BetVictor Isthmian Premier League and sit 4th. They are seven points behind league leaders Folkstone Invicta; but have two games in hand!
Aveley are one division below in the Isthmian North Division. They are challenging for promotion, in second place, three points behind leaders Maldon & Tiptree; but have played three games more.
Could we be on for an upset?

Hornchurch vs Aveley 6th April 1985.

We are approaching the end of the 1984 / 1985 and the teams meet in The Servowarm Isthmian League Division One. This is the second tier of the league – similar to the one Aveley are in today.
Each has played 31 of 42 matches. Aveley sit 10th on 45 points and will finish the season in 13th (of 22). Hornchurch are in 15th place; seven points behind on 38. Hornchurch just avoid relegation on goal difference with Woking dropping to Division Two South.

Hornchurch vs Aveley 6th April 1985 – Match Programme

For this season, Hornchurch produced an 8 – page glossy, red and white, loose leaf ‘cover’. Then a four page black and white Roneo Duplicated sheet was inserted to for each match. This is volume 1 number 24 and cost 20p.
The inside front cover tells us that Paul Delea is the Hornchurch Manager. A former player with Horsham, Paul was associated with Aveley; Brentwood; Chelmsford City and others. The inside cover of the insert, gives more details, as Delea has just joined Hornchurch from Aveley. Third page of the insert details the two teams; the official and the days other Divisional matches. The back page has the league table and forthcoming fixtures.

Me, Hornchurch & Aveley

As I mentioned in the About page of the site, I followed Hornchurch during my exile from Wolverhampton in the 80’s, as I worked in the City. In fact, my house in Upminster Bridge overlooked the Hornchurch Stadium and most of the pitch could be viewed from one of the back bedrooms!!
So, it was only a short walk around to sample the atmosphere live, including seeing Alan Brazil feature for Witham Town (alongside Danny Greaves) towards the end of his career.
Also, as I plodded around rather unskilfully for Upminster FC, Aveley’s ground was the venue for my medal winning match (vs Barking reserves?) in the Romford Charity Cup – though don’t ask me to recall the details!

Hornchurch vs Aveley 6th April 1985 – The main men

We usually try to find a couple of players to remember from the historical match. And it’s no different for this game!
In goal for Aveley was Dave Cass, who went on to play for Leyton Orient. A carpenter, he was mostly associated with Billericay Town. His ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ came as Orient’s goalkeeper at Turf Moor in May 1987, when founder members Burnley needed to beat Orient to prevent dropping out of the football league. Burnley won 2-1 and this game is still celebrated today.

Nicky Bissett

At right half for the Urchins was a young Nicky Bissett. A gas service engineer by trade he played for both Hornchurch and Walthamstow Avenue before joining Dagenham in 1987. The following season Barnet paid a non-league transfer record fee of £20,000 to buy him. They recouped it six months later, when Brighton & Hove Albion broke the record fee for a non-league player paying £115,000 for his services. Bissett went on to play nearly 100 games for the Seagulls, in a career blighted by injuries.

Hornchurch vs Aveley 6th April 1985 – The Outcome

Well sadly, neither can I remember nor find out the score of the match that day. My instincts are that Aveley won, but if someone can help me out, that would be great!

Good luck to both teams on Saturday

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