Match Of The Week: Lewes 0-4 AFC Hornchurch

Non-league football has experienced a culture of boom and bust for as long as it has existed. From the shamateurism of the 1950s and 1960s, through to more recent vanity projects, there has never been a completely level playing field in the semi-professional football, and what becomes troubling about this is, of course, what happens to a club when the money runs out. This afternoon at The Dripping Pan, two clubs that boomed and busted during the last decade but which both found their level in subtly different ways, meet in the Ryman League Premier Division. Within the last ten years, both Lewes Football Club and Hornchurch FC lived beyond their means. One of these clubs died and the other came as close to the same fate without actually expiring, yet this afternoon they meet in a top of the table league match. The story of the fate of Hornchurch Football Club is a by-the-numbers story of over-ambition and financial doping. The club rapidly through the non-league ranks during the early years of the last decade. Lavishly funded by Karl Williams’ Carthium group of companies, they seemed set for a place in at least the Blue Square Premier, but their collapse was as sudden as it was unsurprising. Early in 2005, Carthium suddenly collapsed with debts of £7m – Williams was subsequently disqualified from acting as a company director...

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