Essex Senior Cup Preview

Hornchurch visit Thurrock tonight

Monday (7.45pm)

Essex Senior Cup, 3rd round

Thurrock v Hornchurch

Urchins boss Jimmy McFarlane says he will field his “11 fittest players” at Ship Lane tonight.

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His high-flying Ryman Premier Division squad was hit by knocks to several key players in their 2-1 win at Concord on Saturday.

Rickie Hayles and Elliot Styles were forced off with injuries, while Aaron Gayle and Martin Tuohy had to limp through the closing stages.

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Reiss Noel and matchwinner Lewis Smith also picked up slight knocks and with little time to recover before tonight’s tie, McFarlane will have to shuffle his pack.

He said: “We will have a mixture. There will be a few Capital League players playing and a few on the bench.

“As much as we love the Essex Senior Cup, the way we’ve been treated, we felt it was better to take a look at the bigger picture.”

Hornchurch were hoping to play this tie tomorrow night - after it was originally put back a week due to their FA Trophy replay against Harrow.

Thurrock were without a game in Conference South on Saturday and will, undoubtedly, be fresher this evening.

And there is plenty of incentive, as the winners will travel to League One side Colchester in the next round.

McFarlane added: “I will put my 11 fittest out. We’ve got games Saturday/Tuesday for the next couple of weeks and they’re all big games.

“We’ve got a small squad, but we will try to box clever.”

McFarlane also had a good luck message for former Urchin Lee Hodges, who has taken over the managerial reins at rivals Aveley.

He said: “I’m really pleased for him. Lee has been angling for his own position for a while and I hope he does well.

“It’s a tough job, though, for his first one.”

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