Essex League Premier Division: Roy Smith backing Hornchurch to enjoy Seaside trip and get another win
PUBLISHED: 14:00 18 August 2017
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With four games left to play and the format changing to timed cricket, Hornchurch are keen to finish with a flourish
Roy Smith knows Hornchurch will only win away to Southend in the Essex League Premier Division on Saturday if they play to their full potential.
With four games left this season, the Harrow Lodge Park club are fifth in the table, but closing in on Shenfield in fourth.
Southend, meanwhile, are down the bottom, but full of confidence after beating relegation rivals Upminster last weekend.
It moved the strugglers further away from danger, but Smith wants Hornchurch to show their class at Southchurch Park.
He said: “Southend got a good result on Saturday and some much-needed points down the bottom, but I would say we are a more established team.
“I believe we are stronger on paper, although that doesn’t win you anything, so we need to perform better overall.
“There is more to come from this team and I am hopeful we can get a good run of form going until the end of the season now.”
Hornchurch’s two-wicket win at home to Chingford last weekend, coupled with Shenfield’s heavy loss at Chelmsford, has boosted Smith’s hopes of finishing fourth again or maybe even higher.
In 2016 the Harrow Lodge Park club just missed out on coming third, but with a decent run of fixtures to come, they have not given up hope of improving on last season.
Smith added: “It is not about being comfortable because we can’t go down, we have to set our standards higher than that.
“If it is possible to finish third then I want to finish there, so we want to end the season with some strong form.
“Three of our remaining games are against sides near the bottom, so they are all winnable fixtures.
“Hopefully we can get a run together like Shenfield already have and try to finish as high as we possibly can.”
An unbeaten 66 from Smith helped Hornchurch chase down Chingford’s total of 207-9 on Saturday at Harrow Lodge Park.
Taqi Abbas (3-25) and Zeeshan Khan (2-45) restrict the away side and Brian Barnard’s classy 65 put the hosts on top.
A flurry of wickets made things close, but Smith saw his team over the line with his top score of the league campaign.
He added: “I have been looking at our scores and the runs other players have got on Play-Cricket and it is lower it seems.
“A couple of the top batsmen have got big scores, but if you take that away then they are only around the 250 to 300 mark.
“I am not sure why it has been harder this year, but people have struggled there is no doubt about it.
“Maybe the wickets have been very slow or the bowlers have improved? We will give the bowlers credit perhaps!”