AFC Hornchurch Update (Season Three 2012-2013)
Media Prediction: 13th
Final Standing: 2nd (Promoted via Play-offs)
Promised Board: Respectable League Position
FA Trophy: 2nd Round
FA Cup: 1st Round
My Final Opinion: The season we cracked it.
I checked just now and my last season update was 14/11. There have been many reasons for this none more so than my desire to see 10.3 and play the challenge on the final patch and what a season it turned out to be. When I took my hiatus it was in January (in the game) and the team had enjoyed a solid start to the season. We started poorly but were floating around the top ten when I decided to give it a rest. We'd also gone further than ever before in the FA cup as Hornchurch arrived into the national conciousness with a journey to the first round proper (where were we roundly thumped by Mansfiled 6-0) and made it to the second round of the FA trophy against Salisbury of the BSP.
When I started playing again after installing 10.3 things started to go poorly. We lost to Salisubury and then went on the clubs worst run of games without a win in my tenure. It was at that point that I was about ready to rip this squad apart and rebuild from the ground up for next season, but then amazing things started to happen. We started to win and win well and the best thing was that Harry Crawford who had spent the first half of the season being maddeningly inconsistent found the richest vein of form ever and didn't stop scoring until the end of the season. Suddenly the play-offs were on again and there was even a point where automatic promotion was a possibilty. Coming into the last game of the season I was playing Bishops Stortford at home who were also hunting a play-off place and were on a better run of form than I was. Due to other results the winners would finish in the play-offs and the losers would finish in the worst position in the league 6th. As it was we squeaked through and finished second in the league. The graph shows what a dip I had and what I rally I had too!
Final BSS table
So onto the play-offs. We went to Chelmsford on in the first leg and came away with a good 2-1 win. All set up for us to cruise through at home except by half-time of the second leg we were 2-0 down and facing up to our fourth season in the BSS. A half-time rocket however soon sorted them out and we won the game 3-2 and the tie 5-3 to set up a match up with Eastbourne. A tight first half that ended 2-1 to us became 5-1 and then 5-3 in the second half but we held out to take Hornchurch that one step closer to League football and for this local lad that's a hell of an achievement.
Needless to say my player of the season was Harry Crawford as his goals proved invaluable, however an extreme honourable mention goes to this young 17 year old right back who not only finished the season as my highest rating player but also deposed the club captain because he was playing so well. I'm expecting big things of him next year.
Other screenies for you now:
The worst thing is that all of my money buys turned out to be rubbish including Krause who had a stinker of a season. I'm hoping if he settles he'll be solid next year, but I need to get better at buying that is for sure.
Aims for Next season:
Well I finally have achieved promotion but I still think my hunch during our slump was right and I've got a bit of deadwood to clear out. I have the spine of a good side having added Grant Basey to my back line. I have two excellent young midfielders in Reed and Sherriff who should be able to make the step up and Harry has the ability to get goals but the squad will definitely need strengthening. A goalie, a centre back, a centre mid and someone to play alongside Harry are the top priorities. Oh and I need to make money obviously so a cup run would be nice. Survival and rebuilding are now the key aims if I'm gonna take Hornchurch to the next level.
Season 1 (2010-2011); BSS 16th; FA Cup 3QFR; FA Trophy 1st RD
Season 2 (2011-2012); BSS 9th; FA Cup 2QFR; FA Trophy 1st RD
Season 3 (2012-2013); BSS 2nd (promoted via play-offs); FA Cup 1st RD; Fa Trophy 2nd RD