Ryman North: Hornchurch skipper Elliot Styles looking forward to busy Easter weekend
PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 April 2017
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Urchins host Phoenix Sports on Saturday before visiting Aveley on Monday
Hornchurch head into a busy Easter weekend looking for double delight to boost their chances of a home tie in the Ryman North play-off semi-finals.
Urchins host Phoenix Sports on Saturday before visiting Aveley on Monday for what will be the Millers’ final game at Mill Field.
Victories in both matches would go a long way to keeping the Bridge Avenue club third in the table, which would bring home advantage in the play-off semi-finals.
And Hornchurch skipper Elliot Styles, who scored in a 1-0 win at Waltham Abbey last weekend, knows it is now the time of the season where results outweigh performances.
“At this stage of the season, we haven’t got time to worry about the displays, we just have to do what’s needed to get the points.
“We’re come round the final bend and we’re into the home straight, as they say, so we just have to keep winning.”
With Urchins playing twice in little over 48 hours over the weekend, it looks set to be a gruelling period for Styles and his team-mates.
But Styles believes the matches allow the Jimmy McFarlane’s men to lay down a marker to their promotion rivals ahead of their play-off campaign.
“The games come thick and fast at this stage of the season and the Easter games are always big because they come at an important time,” said the long-serving Styles.
“We know we’re in the play-offs now, but we want home advantage in the semi-finals so we won’t be taking these games lightly.
“Phoenix are still pushing to make the play-offs themselves while it’s always a derby with Aveley and it’s their last game at Mill Field too.”
Both fixtures over the Easter weekend look to be devilishly difficult for Urchins, with both Sports and Aveley currently in the top half.
But it seems to be a challenge that Styles is relishing and he is confident his team-mates are more than up for it.
“The teams near the bottom of the table seem to be our Achilles heel and though we’ve done better against them this year, we’re happier to play a team in the top half,” he added.
“We have no fear and know that are more than a match for any team in this division.
“At this stage of the season, they are all big games, but we are a successful team and know what it takes to play in the big games.”
Styles’ goal against Abbey last weekend was his fifth for Hornchurch this season, taking him to joint-third in the club’s scorers list this term.
It came at a time when Hornchurch thought they were to be held to a frustrating draw, with their skipper netting in the 84th minute at Capershotts.
And having missed a few efforts earlier in the match, Styles was delighted to make on count at an important time.
“In the second half, the best chances seem to fall to our centre-backs, it was just one of those days and is no fault of our forwards,” he said.
“I missed one myself which was perhaps easier than the goal, while Kenzer Lee saw one deflected on to the bar.
“That deflection took the ball out of play for a corner from which I scored, so in the end we were all relieved.”