Hornchurch boss Stimson hopes to end January on a high
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Hornchurch boss Mark Stimson is hoping to end January on a high note this weekend.
Urchins welcome Isthmian League promotion rivals Lewes to Bridge Avenue, having extended their unbeaten run in 2022 to six matches.
Tom Wraight's late goal earned a 1-1 draw at leaders Worthing last weekend, with Tobi Joseph and Wraight netting in a 2-0 win over Horsham in midweek.
And Stimson said: "I was more than delighted to get a point at Worthing.
"We started well and for the first 20 minutes was on the front foot.
"Worthing got back into it and the second half was an even game but they got a very good goal and time was running down.
"But the never-say-die attitude of the players to get an equaliser was great. They all performed to their maximum and from a manager's point of view, us being without Ricky Hayles, Sam Higgins and Joe Christou, shows how well the boys played. It was a good trip back.
"Tuesday was about trying to get to the performance levels of the last 10 games, which isn't easy, because the performances have been so good.
"Full credit to the players, it was a very cold Tuesday night and the first half was quite close but we got a good, well-worked goal.
"I'd say the second half was by far our best of the season, how we didn't get five or six goals I don't know, hitting the crossbar, having one cleared off the line.
"The chances we created and the football we played was a joy to be part of and certainly warmed me up on the night.
"At 1-0 a team can be on the ropes but still get something and they had some corners and chances, but we got the second goal and it was a deserved three points."
That leaves Hornchurch in seventh place, two points off a play-off spot, and looking to complete a double over third-placed Lewes.
Stimson added: "January has been a good month and we'd love to finish it with a top performance on Saturday against Lewes, who are going for promotion.
"We went there a long while ago and Sam Higgins terrorised them, getting two goals in a 3-1 win. It was an all-round 10 out of 10 performance.
"We've got to be at that level again. They're up there and have been fortunate with injuries. We wasn't as fortunate but now we've only got three out, which is better than six or seven, so we've turned a corner and we're looking forward to Saturday.
"It will be nice to have a free week after that. Sam Higgins is doing some light training and Ricky and Joe will start soon.
"February and March can be good months if you do it right as you can get up there and make sure the last month is a really good one."
Stimson also made a point of offering his condolences to the Caton family after the death of seven-year-old Isla.
He said: "From myself and everyone at Hornchurch, we would like to send our love to the Caton family for their very sad loss."