Hornchurch eager to land a place in FA Trophy last 16
PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 January 2020
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Hornchurch are in for a gruelling challenge as they bid to progress past local rivals Aveley into the last 16 of the FA Trophy says manager Mark Stimson.
Urchins welcome the Millers to Bridge Avenue for their last-32 tie as they both look to go one step further in the prestigious non-league competition having already pulled off upsets in previous rounds.
Keith Rowland's side currently sit second in Isthmian League North while Hornchurch are fourth in the Premier Division.
"It's a great day to look forward to. We play Aveley who so far this season are flying," said former FA Trophy winner Stimson.
"I've seen them play a couple of times, they've got some really good players, who could easily play at our level and one who could probably play higher.
"We're in for a tough game, we know that. They're bright, they've got pace and they will test us, but we expect that as we're in the last 32 of the Trophy.
"If you would have said that at the beginning of the season you would have taken getting this far but it's a game we're looking to go through now."
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The experienced boss has compared the match to last weekend's FA Cup ties and feels it could be the same for them if they fail to take their chances.
"Looking at the FA Cup on the weekend just gone by, if Everton and Leeds had taken their chances in the first half, then they were both through, but they didn't take them and have been knocked out," he added.
"In cup competitions if you get chances you have to take them because if you don't it can come back to bite us.
"Aveley and us are both going to have chances on Saturday as we've both been scoring lots of goals, so it's about who takes them on the day or whichever goalkeeper performs."
Hornchurch are keen to earn a place in last 16 alongside some high profile clubs from the National League and below.
"It would be a fantastic achievement, to get to the last 32 is good, to get to the last 16 I've been there before and know what it's about," said Stimson.
"For a team at our level or Aveley's it's brilliant and that's the big prize to play for."
Hornchurch midfielders Lewwis Spence and Joe Christou remain doubts for the clash through injury.