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The Times


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From today's Times:-


New beginnings give Hornchurch heart

By Walter Gammie

Hornchurch 3 Lewes 2




WILD EXCITEMENT greeted the goal by Chris Stowe that brought Hornchurch their first victory under Tony Choules in his third match as manager. Hornchurch may no longer be the full-time club steaming away with the Nationwide Conference South that they were until November, when the collapse of the Carthium Group cut off their money supply, but they proved that they are still afloat.

Jon Smith, the troubleshooter installed last month as managing director, said: “My job was to sort out the hangover of having been the Chelsea of non-League football.” He was given the brief by Karl Williams, who played the Abramovich role until his double-glazing company went bust. “Karl could have put the club into administration,” Smith said. “The more difficult thing was to say, ‘I haven’t got much money now but what I have got, I’ll put back into this club’ — and he’s done that.”




Smith’s first job was to clear the £700,000 debt liabilities of long-term contracts, parting with Garry Hill, the previous manager, in the process. He has come to arrangements with football creditors and trade creditors — “most are still supplying us and we’re paying something off the top to clear our debts”. Next he will meet the Inland Revenue — “Hopefully they can see what we’ve done and will be onside.” Choules has a budget that is a fraction of Hill’s but he is undaunted. “I want to put a smile back on the faces of the players,” he said.


One man not smiling was Steve King, the Lewes manager, who was clutching a video that he said showed the first two Hornchurch goals were offside — but in the Bridge Avenue clubhouse no one was too concerned about that.


Hornchurch (4-4-2): M Desborough — A Locke (sub: S Williams, 77min), S Gooding, J Southon, S Dear — M Vrhovski (sub: C Stowe, 67), A Tomlinson, D Shipp, T Bowes — A Douglas, R O’Conner. Substitutes not used: T Everett, M Burgess, B Drake. Booked: Dear, Tomlinson


Lewes (4-4-2): D Jean-Zepherin — J Lovett, M Hustwick, F Duku, M Harvey — C Dobson, P Kennett (sub: L Newman, 70), B Moore, K Watts — J Nurse, A Storey (sub: J Kadi, 82). Substitutes not used: J Vines, M Whiteman, B Belgrave


Referee: T Choule

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None of the goals were offside - goal one - Shipp was level with the last defender - he was not in front of him when the ball was played across the goalmouth.


Goal two - Shipp's FK rebounded off the wall, the keeper parried Terry Bowes' header and The Doog followed up - no sign of offside at all.


Goal three - the ball was playee BACK from the touchline - you cannot be offside if you are behind the ball - a defender (number three I think it was) kicked it off the line and Chris Stowe scooped it back into the net.

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