by Garry Clarke
ON Saturday Warrington Rylands 1906 face Hornchurch in the “Pitching In Non-League Super Cup”, and I know many of you are asking who are Hornchurch, where do they come from and what is the “Pitching In Non-League Super Cup”?
Following Rylands promotion to the Northern Premier League this is the first season that both the previous seasons FA Trophy and FA Vase will be competing in the Trident League set up which prompted the idea of inaugurating the “Super Cup”.
The “Pitching In Non-League Super Cup” is a new concept which brings together last season’s FA Trophy and Vase winners in a charity game to raise the curtain on the 2021/22 season, with all proceeds from the game will go the Trident Community Foundation, which provides funds for community based projects undertaken by member clubs.
Pitching In Isthmian League chairman Nick Robinson explained: “It was formulated in the Royal Box at Wembley after Hornchurch had won the FA Trophy.
“One of the directors turned to me and said, ‘Why don’t we play Warrington, they’ve won the Vase?’ and we thought it was a really good idea. It’s the first time ever we’ve had the Vase and Trophy winners in one of the Trident Leagues, so that’s when we went back to Pitching In who have been super – it’s just wonderful to have them on board with this.”
Robinson’s counterpart at the Northern Premier League, Mark Harris, said: “We were looking for something to be a curtain raiser for the new season.
“With restrictions being lifted, hopefully we’ll be able to have a full season – time will tell about that – but we wanted a way to be able to launch the second year of launching the Pitching In sponsorship. We wanted to do something that could grab the attention, so it’s hugely exciting.”
Hornchurch FC play in the Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division (a step higher than Rylands) won the FA Trophy a couple of hours after Rylands won the FA Vase on that glorious Saturday afternoon in May.
Their National League North opponents Hereford United took the lead at Wembley in the 13th minute, but the Urchins (as Hornchurch are known) came back equalizing in the 77th minute through Charlie Ruff. Liam Nash gave his side the lead in the 86th minute before Ellis Brown netted in the 90th minute to seal the 3-1 win.
Originally formed in 1923 as Upminster Wanderers, the club played in several local and regional leagues under using several names before they reached the Conference South in 2004. After just one season in the Conference set up the club folded and was replaced by a new team called AFC Hornchurch which played in the Essex Senior League before moving into the Isthmian League.
They enjoyed another season in the Conference South (2012/13) before dropping back into the Isthmian League, where following a further relegation they returned to the Premier Division in 2018 as First Division champions.
Since re-adopting the Hornchurch FC name in 2019 they have not completed a league season due to Covid-19 curtailing both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons with the Urchins being 4th and 8th respectively when the seasons were stopped.
Since its opening in 1952 the Hornchurch Sports Stadium close to the centre of Upminster has been the venue for Hornchurch’s home games. Situated on Bridge Avenue, just north of the Dartford River Crossing, the ground has a capacity of 3,500 of which 800 are seated.
Upminster is a suburban town in East London, part of the London Borough of Havering, located 16 ½ miles north east of Charing Cross. Historically a rural village in Essesx, Upminster became part of the Hornchurch Urban District in 1934 and has formed part off Greater London since 1965. It is the only section of Greater London to extend more that 200 meters beyond the M25 motorway.
Last Saturday Hornchurch won their latest pre season friendly away at Isthmian League First Division North Great Wakering Rovers. Of the four games played prior to last Saturday they had beaten Frenford and Southend United and lost to Canvey Islandand Dagenham & Redbridge.
Next Saturday’s game at Hornchurch is scheduled for a 12.45pm kick off. While supporters will be welcomed back to the terraces the match will be live-streamed for those unable to attend. For details go to :