Newly-relegated Barking found their first pre-season test against Isthmian League Premier Division side Hornchurch very tough as the Blues came away with a 3-1 loss.

The game was the first pre-season friendly ahead of the 2022/23 season, giving the Urchins a perfect start to their preparation whilst Barking will look improve over the course of July.

Barking looked to make a quick start to proceedings, a 40 second start to be exact, as the forward looked to be through, but the attack was halted by an offside flag. The quick start didn’t faze the hosts as they began to dominate.

The winger made a fantastic run towards goal, taking the ball beyond two defenders but his cut back was cut out by the defence. It didn’t take long for the deadlock to be broken as Hornchurch opened the scoring in the 6th-minute. The ball was cut back at the byline and tapped home.

The goal gave the visitors a boost as they came forward in waves of attacks. An effort was well saved before another shot was dragged wide. It wasn’t long before the Urchins questioned why they weren’t further ahead. A shot from outside the box was just over the bar, before an effort came off the inside of the post, somehow staying out of the goal. A rare opportunity for Barking wasn’t enough to pull themselves level as the shot was wide of the far post.

The away sides lead was doubled in the 26th minute as the winger created some space for himself and fired beyond the keeper. The pressure kept coming, but the Urchins weren’t able to extend their lead. As the half approached its end, Barking had a flurry of late chances. A corner went through everyone, before another corner was fired in, but it was well cleared by the visitors. An offside call halted an attack before another set-piece was overhit.

The start to the second half was an more even affair. The Blues had a free-kick in a dangerous position, but the effort was fired over the bar before a Hornchurch effort from the right-hand side was wide of the post. The early second half pressure from Barking produced a reward as they pulled one back 13 minutes into the half. The hosts got the ball into the box, before firing beyond the keeper.

Hornchurch looked to restore their cushion as a shot was driven towards goal, but the effort was just wide before they got their third just 10-minutes later. The ball was send down the right-hand side before a low cross was poked home. Barking had chances too, but couldn’t get another goal. A shot from outside the box, produced a fine save before the forward was slipped through, but again, the keeper pulled off another good save.

The Urchins fired a free-kick towards goal, but the set-piece was straight at the keeper. Barking didn’t let the visitors dominate the second half and as the game reached the final 10-minutes, it looked more likely that the Blues would grab the next goal. A wicked cross was delivered into the box, but no one was able to divert it in before another ball low cross was sent into the box, but cut out before it could reach its target. A better second half performance was not enough as the Blues fell to defeat.