Hornchurch host title rivals

Big Billericay clash at Bridge Avenue

Bank Holiday Monday (3pm)

Ryman Premier Division

Hornchurch v Billericay

Urchins boss Jimmy McFarlane has been talking of there being more twists and turns in this season’s title race.

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And there were a couple on Good Friday, which have left his side with their destiny in their own hands once more.

Urchins were 1-0 down at Tooting, while Billericay led Carshalton thanks to an early own goal at New Lodge.

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Had the scorelines stayed the same, Hornchurch would have found themselves five points adrift of the leaders going into today’s meeting.

But Billericay were then pegged back by a Carshalton equaliser, while Hornchurch hot-shot Martin Tuohy struck twice in the last seven minutes, to take his tally for the season to 30, and the gap shrank to just two points.

It was a fifth win in six games for in-form Urchins — who lost 2-1 at home to Cray last month — and four more wins will see them crowned champions.

After hosting Billericay today, they visit Wealdstone and Harrow, before a final day assignment against Leatherhead.

Blues, meanwhile, have won four of their last six but are unbeaten in 13, going back to a 4-2 defeat at Tooting in early January.

They include former Urchins Dave Collis and Glenn Poole, who went close to a late winner against Carshalton when his free-kick hit the woodwork.

And it promises to be another titanic battle between the two rivals.

Hornchurch came out on top thanks to a solitary goal from Tommy Black when they met just after Christmas, in front of a crowd of 1,106.

And another bumper audience is expected for the return clash, which Blues boss Craig Edwards has called “a local derby with a cup final feel about it”.

No silverware will be handed out today, of course, but the winners will feel they have one hand on the trophy.

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