Hornchurch set to get season started with Merstham test

PUBLISHED: 15:00 09 August 2019

Hornchurch manager Mark Stimson. Picture: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Hornchurch manager Mark Stimson. Picture: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Hornchurch get their BetVictor Isthmian League Premier Division season underway this Saturday when they travel away to take on Merstham.

The Urchins ended their pre-season campaign with a 3-1 victory over Hullbridge Sports on Tuesday after beating Great Wakering Rovers 4-0 on Saturday.

Merstham performed well last season and finished fifth in the Isthmian Premier to qualify for the play-offs.

Arthur Lee and Remi Sutton will both miss the game for Hornchurch with hand injuries, while Nathan Cooper is also a doubt.

Boss Mark Stimson is expecting a tough opening game and says pre-season has been difficult given the number of injuries.

"It will be tough, they are a new side being put together. They will have loads of energy but we will be ready for that," he said. "It has been a frustrating pre-season with some bad injuries.

"It will be nice to get off to a good start, but it's no use then having a terrible middle period.

"We just need to stay in the pack as well as we can.

"The tables after the first game are ludicrous. I look at it after 20 games, after that we will be able to look at what we need."

Mickey Parcell got his side's first in the win over Hullbridge on Tuesday, finishing well from a tight angle.

Danny Uchechi then grabbed a second on the hour mark and after their opponents pulled a goal back, Jack Goode put the game to bed three minutes from time.

A double from Uchechi also helped his side to a 4-0 victory over Great Wakering Rovers on Saturday as he notched the first of the game.

Charlie Stimson then added another just a minute later before Uchechi got his second before half-time.

George Saunders added a fourth late on with an 18-yard strike.

After Saturday's game, Urchins will host Margate on Tuesday, a game Stimson believes will also be difficult.

He added: "Margate are probably one of the favourites for the league and that will be a massive test.

"To finish off with a win in pre-season is always nice, as well as no more injuries.

"Hopefully the boys continue to train well and work hard. It's just about consistency really."

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