Mark Stimson insists FA Trophy win with Hornchurch is 'up there'

Mark Stimson manager of Hornchurch yells at his players during Hereford FC vs Hornchurch, Buildbase

Mark Stimson manager of Hornchurch yells at his players during Hereford FC vs Hornchurch, Buildbase FA Trophy Final Football at Wembley Stadium on 22nd May 2021 - Credit: Ben Gaby/TGS Photo

Mark Stimson insists Hornchurch FA Trophy victory is ‘up there’ among his five wins in the non league cup competition. 

The Urchins fought back to seal a 3-1 win over National League North side Hereford thanks to goals from Charlie Ruff, Liam Nash and Ellis Brown at Wembley Stadium. 

The victory capped off an amazing journey where they pulled off numerous giant-killings on their way to success. 

For the boss he won it once as a player then three times as a manager but has added another win to his incredible record. 

“Great question, I've been fortunate enough to win it three times on the trot and that was special, and obviously the third one was at this fantastic stadium with Stevenage,” Stimson admitted. 

Chris Dickson of Hornchurch can't reach the ball before Brandon Hall of Hereford collects it during

Chris Dickson of Hornchurch can't reach the ball before Brandon Hall of Hereford collects it during Hereford FC vs Hornchurch, Buildbase FA Trophy Final Football at Wembley Stadium on 22nd May 2021 - Credit: Ben Gaby/TGS Photo


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“It was a game where I was 2-0 down at half-time, but to take Hornchurch to Wembley for the level that we’re at, and for the season that we’ve had. For everything around it, then it’s got to be up there. 

“That’s how highly I rate this game today (Saturday).” 

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When asked about whether he should be made a replica version of the Trophy and be named Mr FA Trophy, Stimson revealed he doesn’t know the secret to his success in the competition. 

“If anyone wants to give me one I'll definitely put it on my mantle piece,” he chuckled. “But I can’t explain it, I just always tell the boys the truth that they’ve got an opportunity to play in a fantastic stadium, don’t give it up lightly. 

Hornchurch players celebrating their second goal during Hereford FC vs Hornchurch, Buildbase FA Trop

Hornchurch players celebrating their second goal during Hereford FC vs Hornchurch, Buildbase FA Trophy Final Football at Wembley Stadium on 22nd May 2021 - Credit: Ben Gaby/TGS Photo

“Some games for example in the FA Cup this year, we played Hampton & Richmond Borough away, we were the better side but we got knocked out on penalties and that’s how this game works. 

“If you’re prepared to work harder than your opponents in the end you will get your rewards and that’s what all those players got today (Saturday).” 

All of this while not being able to play in the Isthmian Premier Division and even unable to train at one stage during the journey. 

“It’s been very difficult, there has been many times when we didn’t know if we could carry on, and even train. We went through a period of three weeks where we wasn’t able to train because we wasn’t classed as an elite football team. 

“Once we got that go ahead we got back into training and when we played King’s Lynn Town we only had one training session and we hadn’t trained for three weeks and we won the game on penalties. 

Hornchurch's Ellis Brown (right) celebrates scoring their third goal of the Buildbase FA Trophy Fina

Hornchurch's Ellis Brown (right) celebrates scoring their third goal of the Buildbase FA Trophy Final against Hereford at Wembley Stadium - Credit: PA

“But we’ve been very fortunate that the backers at the club Alex Sharp and the many others have been true to their word, they’ve been great for the players, and the players have been great for him and the board. 

“It’s been a combined effort of everything knuckling down and working hard, even at home as well, as I've been giving them things to do because we just thought we had a chance in every game. 

“Like today (Saturday) although we’re playing Hereford who are a league above us, we’ve got a chance, and when you’ve got characters like I've got then they’ll take that chance if you let them. 

“At 1-0, yes it wasn’t the perfect beginning, but at half-time we spoke and said if we get the next one then we’ll be stronger and substitutions will come on thankfully everything worked out.” 

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