Horndean’s FA Youth Cup tie brings back painful memories of a record-breaking defeat against West Ham at Upton Park

The team sheet/programme from West Ham's record-breaking 21-1 FA Youth Cup win over Horndean 32 years agoThe team sheet/programme from West Ham's record-breaking 21-1 FA Youth Cup win over Horndean 32 years ago
The team sheet/programme from West Ham's record-breaking 21-1 FA Youth Cup win over Horndean 32 years ago
Horndean’s FA Youth Cup first round appearance this week brings back memories of a record-breaking night in east London.

But it’s not the sort of record that those involved in creating look back on with any sense of pride – indeed, more a dubious ‘claim to fame’.

This Thursday, Horndean travel to Woking - their first round prize after winning through four qualifying rounds, scoring 19 goals in the process against Dorchester, Moneyfields, Portland and Chippenham.

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Thirty two years ago this Saturday, on November 5, 1990, another Horndean under-18 side faced West Ham United at Upton Park in a Youth Cup first round tie.

It was a fixture that ended up making the national press, with the Deans on the receiving end of a fearful 21-1 battering.

Yes, 21-1. The proverbial hammering administered by the Hammers - and a scoreline that set a new record for the highest ever FA Youth Cup win, a record that perhaps unsurprisingly still stands.

Current Fleur De Lys Youth FC committee member Ian Hackney was part of the Deans side subjected to a huge defeat, playing in defence behind over-worked goalkeeper Paul Samways.

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He told The News: ‘It’s a bit of a claim to fame I suppose. The biggest thing I remember is we scored the best goal of the game, through our striker Chris Shelton.

‘Billy Bonds, who was the West Ham first team manager at the time, came into our dressing room afterwards to commend us.

‘We were just a side who played on a Sunday who trained once a week, we were playing effectively professionals.

‘My dad was there watching and he heard people saying ‘why are we playing this lot, they’re so bad’, but they didn’t have an appreciation of where we’d come from.

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‘We were a below mid-table Hampshire Youth League side for the two years I played in the under-18s.’

The previous season, 1989/90, Horndean had also been given a bye through to the first round of the Youth Cup. On that occasion, drawn to face Bristol City at Ashton Gate, they suffered another double-digit loss - 10-0, though the Deans lost their keeper through injury early on and had to put an outfielder in goal as a replacement.

Hackney was one of just two 18-year-olds in the side at Upton Park, along with his former school friend Chris Webb. The rest were just 17, up against a Hammers side including future Northern Ireland internationals Kevin Horlock and Matt Holland.

Mike Macari, the son of ex-Scottish international Lou, was up front for the Hammers. Lou had been replaced as West Ham boss by Bonds earlier in the year, and eventually took Mike with him to Stoke after he was appointed Potters boss in 1992.

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Horndean had been given byes through to the Youth Cup first round for two seasons running after reaching the second round the year before.

At the time, they were the first Hampshire non-league club to reach that stage of the competition.

Horndean defeated Sutton United 2-0 in the first round before holding Reading to a 1-1 draw at home. In the replay, at Elm Park, the hosts won 5-1.

Current Horndean U18s boss Dean Blamire admits his squad is ‘depleted’ for Thursday’s trip to Knaphill.

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Striker Liam Brewer is suspended after his early red card in the previous round win against Chippenham, while Pete Hodgkins is on holiday.

Haidon Davies is a doubt after being on the end of what his manager described as an ‘over-zealous’ tackle in Sunday’s Hampshire Development League win over AFC Stoneham.

‘If we’d had a full squad I’d have been confident of giving it a good shot,’ Blamire said about the Woking trip. ‘But when you’re depleted you’re on the back foot.’

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