'Bishop's Stortford will be front-runners,' says Hornchurch boss Stimson
Hornchurch FC manager Mark Stimson believes Bishop’s Stortford will be one of the front-runners in the Isthmian Premier Division.
The Urchins are set to travel away to the ProKit Stadium on Saturday to take Steve Smith’s side before then returning to Bridge Avenue to host Jay Saunders' Margate on Tuesday evening.
The boss is expecting two tough tests but believes regular games coming thick and fast will help his players get back into the swing of things following a bizarre 18 months.
“I think Bishop’s Stortford will be competing for the play-offs and the title if I'm honest, so we’ve got two tough games coming up,” Stimson said.
“Fingers crossed if we can keep playing the way we are and creating the chances, sooner or later you will get a few goals.
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“It’s been a crazy 18 months to two years with no football, but we’re used to playing every Saturday and Tuesday, so why the league didn’t do that at the beginning of this season I'm not quite sure.
“It will be nice now to get a run of games going, it helps players as well as the more they play, the more they get back to doing what they’re used to doing.
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“We’re looking forward to Saturday’s game. Bishop’s Stortford is always a nice venue, pitch is good, and the crowd is good. Hopefully we can get a good result as well.”
Hornchurch sealed a huge 4-1 victory over Barton Rovers in their first qualifying-round tie replay on Tuesday evening.
A hattrick from Sam Higgins and another goal from Charlie Ruff helped guide them into the next round where they will face Walthamstow.
“Saturday was a mixed bag, although we didn’t play particularly well, we still had enough chances to win the game.
“Their goalkeeper pulled off a couple of good saves, after going ahead from a really good goal from Charlie Ruff, they got a goal back and took us to a replay.
“Full credit to the boys, we travelled there and put a real good display on, created numerous chances and took four of those. Great to get through to the next round and we look forward to that when it comes around.
“In the cup, if you get a home draw you’re always happy, but before that, we’ve got two league games against two sides who are going to be in the top half of the league.”