Hornchurch boss hoping FA Trophy hero doesn't haunt them

Chris Dickson in action for Hornchurch against Cray Wanderers back in August

Chris Dickson in action for Hornchurch against Cray Wanderers back in August - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Hornchurch boss Mark Stimson is hoping one of their FA Trophy heroes does not come back to haunt them this weekend.

Urchins travel to relegation-threatened Cray Wanderers in the Isthmian League Premier Division on Sunday, with Chris Dickson having netted 10 times so far this season.

Stimson's men can secure their play-off place with a win, if other results go their way on Saturday, as they sit in fourth place, 10 points clear of Cheshunt - who have a game in hand - after beating the Ambers in midweek.

And Stimson said: "It's always a pleasure to see Chris. He played for me at Gillingham many years ago, on loan from Charlton as a 19-year-old, and did remarkably well for me. 

"I think he scored eight goals in 10 games and went back to Charlton but we've always kept in touch. 

"He has got great enthusiasm for the game and will go down as a Hornchurch legend for what he did for the club.

"I will shake his hand before the game, but hope he has a nightmare. We've got to try and stop him."

Chris Dickson with the FA Trophy after helping Hornchurch beat Hereford at Wembley Stadium last May

Chris Dickson with the FA Trophy after helping Hornchurch beat Hereford at Wembley Stadium last May

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Urchins were held to a 3-3 draw by Bognor Regis Town last weekend, when midfielder Joe Christou was again pressed into action as an emergency goalkeeper with Joe Wright suspended and Connor Wheatley out with Covid.

But Wright returned on Tuesday and, after Tom Wraight netted his 18th goal in 21 games, saw a long kick headed into his own net by Chevron McLean for the winner.

Stimson added: "We knew it would be tough, Cheshunt are a team with a certain style, quite direct and you have to be ready.

"First half we were excellent, we took the lead but they got a goal out of nothing, right in the top corner. Nine times out of 10 they go into the stands.

"At 1-1, the second half was a bit patchy and bitty. They had to go for it but neither side was creating much then Joe hit one down the middle and their player headed it in.

"We didn't have much luck on Saturday but we got it on Tuesday. They say it evens out over the season so we take the three points and on we go.

"If you work hard you get results, we certainly did that."

Stimson is now expecting another tough game against Cray, but knows his side could seal a top-five place by Sunday night.  

"Cray are fighting for their lives so it will be another tough game," he added.

"We're looking forward to it, we will go there and hopefully get a result.

"We'd rather play on Saturday, it's what we do, but we understand Cray groundshare with Bromley.

"We will know how others have got on in their games on Saturday and have a clearer picture about the play-offs."