Healthy squad competition for Hornchurch ahead of FA Cup clash
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Hornchurch have got plenty of competition in their squad now as players return to full fitness ahead of an FA Cup clash with Barton Rovers.
The Urchins host the Southern League Division One Central side in the first qualifying round on Saturday as they bid to progress.
And manager Mark Stimson knows their opponents have nothing to lose and will come looking to pull off an upset, although Hornchurch are boosted by having a fully fit squad.
“We did pick up a couple of little niggles, but I think they might just be fatigue because of the two games in three days, so I'm hoping they’ll be ok for Saturday,” said Stimson.
“The squad is looking healthy in numbers, we can have seven substitutes on Saturday, whereas on Monday Lewwis Spence and young Sak Hassan were not in the squad.
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“We’ve got healthy competition and it’s a big game for us, Barton will come and want to cause an upset, and we just need to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
It was mixed fortunes over the Bank Holiday weekend for Hornchurch as they lost 2-0 to Kingstonian before bouncing back with a 4-0 victory over Potters Bar Town.
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“It’s difficult at this time of season to have two games in such a short space of time, two very different challenges, the one at Kingstonian was difficult, they’ve got a lot of pace in their team, and they’ve started the season really well," added Stimson.
“On the day we didn’t really perform like I know we can, there was a couple of big calls in the game at 1-0, where we had a goal disallowed that looked onside.
“Within a minute they went up the other end and scored an absolute worldie of a free-kick from 35 yards, so to go in 2-0 down was very frustrating, as I didn’t think we deserved that.
“We came out second half, 15 minutes in we had a massive call for a penalty, but we didn’t get it and the game then petered out. It was not the result we were looking for.
“The main thing was how the boys reacted on Monday and they couldn’t have reacted any better, it was a really positive, comfortable win and if anything it could have been six or seven.
“It was great to see Sam Higgins and Joe Wright start for the first time this season. Joe obviously had an operation and we’ve had to be patient with him, but then the young lad Noah Phillips has come in from Orient and done well.
“Sam picked up a couple of niggles, so we’ve had to wait and make sure the time was right, and he did what he has always done and that is score goals.”