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Hornchurch boss Stimson is excited about league return as Merstham pose first test

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 September 2020

Mickey Parcell of Hornchurch and Kenny Clark of Dagenham during Hornchurch vs Dagenham & Redbridge, Friendly Match Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 5th September 2020

Mickey Parcell of Hornchurch and Kenny Clark of Dagenham during Hornchurch vs Dagenham & Redbridge, Friendly Match Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 5th September 2020

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Hornchurch manager Mark Stimson is excited to start playing some competitive football once again following a six-month lay-off from league action.

Arthur Lee of Hornchurch and Trialist of Dagenham during Hornchurch vs Dagenham & Redbridge, Friendly Match Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 5th September 2020Arthur Lee of Hornchurch and Trialist of Dagenham during Hornchurch vs Dagenham & Redbridge, Friendly Match Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 5th September 2020

The Urchins will welcome Merstham to Bridge Avenue on Saturday for their first fixture of the 2020/21 Isthmian League Premier Division season.

The boss did reveal they may be without a few players including defender Arthur Lee and Sonny Dutton, who departed this week, for the match, but knows whoever plays will give their all.

“Everyone is in the same position obviously because of what’s gone on, we haven’t had an official game for such a long while it’s going to be exciting again,” Stimson said.

“We’re looking forward to it, we probably won’t be at full strength as we have one suspension carried over from last season, and then one or two didn’t play on Saturday.

“I’m sure, like ever since I’ve been at the club, the boys will go out there, work hard, and look to get the three points.”

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Stimson added: “There is a lot of talk about teams might be doing this or that, but you try finding out as much information as you can about other teams, and Merstham seem to have kept the core of their squad together from last season, similar to ourselves.

“I’m sure they will be a test. I always say about this league, there is no gimmes, whereas the league below there is some certainties.

“Look at the teams that finished above us, Worthing and Cray have only added, Folkestone were on our tails along with Carshalton Athletic and then you have the likes of Kingstonian who have invested, Enfield Town are always up there, and then Horsham have added five new players.”

Hornchurch wrapped up pre-season with a 2-0 victory over National League South outfit Welling United thanks to goals from Sam Higgins and Chris Dickson and Stimson was keen to thank the Urchins faithful.

“It was a nice way to finish pre-season, picking up no injuries, a clean sheet and the performance led to a victory so I couldn’t have asked for more than that,” he said.

“I want to give a big thank you to our supporters and volunteers who have gone in throughout the summer to keep the pitch, stadium and clubhouse in good condition. Sometimes these guys don’t get the mention they should so I want to say thank you.”

Hornchurch visit Bowers & Pitsea for an FA Cup first qualifying round tie on Tuesday. The winners pocket £2,250 in prize money, as the losers get £750.


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