Hornchurch boss Stimson hoping for a clean bill of health to get on track

Hornchurch left-back Remi Sutton on the ball against Wingate & Finchley

Hornchurch left-back Remi Sutton on the ball against Wingate & Finchley - Credit: Martin Addison

Hornchurch manager Mark Stimson is eyeing a big run-up until Christmas, but is mainly hoping for a clean bill of health amongst his squad after an early season injury crisis. 

The Urchins will host Merstham on Saturday before then welcoming Haringey Borough to Bridge Avenue on Tuesday evening as they bid to build on the Folkestone Invicta draw. 

They continue to struggle with Ellis Brown out with Covid-19, and both Rickie Hayles and Mickey Parcell now facing suspensions, among other injuries.

“We’re just hoping for a clean bill of health to help us in the run up until then hopefully we can be back near amongst it near the top,” Stimson said. 

“The last three performances have been very good, but that’s because we had a settled team, Saturday we’re ok then Tuesday we’ll be missing Rickie Hayles and Mickey Parcell picked up his fifth booking as well. 

“We may have to add another one or two, Ellis is off for 10 days, and then a few others are coughing as there is a hell of a lot of illness going around at the moment. Fingers crossed we don’t have anyone go down.” 

Ben Goode’s sudden death penalty save gave Wingate and Finchley a victory in the FA Trophy over holders Hornchurch after a 1-1 draw.

Holders Hornchurch crashed out of the FA Trophy in a penalty shoot-out against Wingate & Finchley

Holders Hornchurch crashed out of the FA Trophy in a penalty shoot-out against Wingate & Finchley - Credit: Martin Addison

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“The Trophy game was very disappointing and frustrating to go out especially being holders of it and taking great pride in that," Stimson said.

“We should have been out of sight at half-time, possibly, one missed chance and two outstanding saves as well as hitting the woodwork twice. How it was 1-1 at half-time, I don’t know, I sound like a broken record. 

“To go out in that cruel way, we know from our own experiences, when you win on penalties it’s fantastic and when you lose it’s so disappointing. 

“I feel for the players that stepped up and didn’t convert them. I have to say like I did after the game, well done for standing up, it’s a hard thing to do, they did their best and it wasn’t meant to be.” 

Hornchurch defender Rickie Hayles battles for the ball against Wingate & Finchley

Hornchurch defender Rickie Hayles battles for the ball against Wingate & Finchley - Credit: Martin Addison

The club then played out a goalless draw with unbeaten Folkestone Invicta on Tuesday evening.

“First-half we were outstanding, a real top performance, didn’t manage to score then four minutes into the second-half we had Rickie Hayles sent off with a harsh decision," Stimsob said,

“Looking back at it to come away with a point in the situation we are in at the moment, it’s a great point.” 

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