After a week off to focus on the FA Cup, where we secured qualification to the Second Qualifying Round, we are back in league action tomorrow as Hornchurch are the latest visitors to The Maurice Rebak Stadium. Four of our first six games have been on the road, and so there is much anticipation ahead of two consecutive home games - tomorrow’s home match will be followed on Sunday 17th by a home FA Cup tie against National League South side Farnborough.
Hornchurch, based in East London, are perennial front runners in the division, and come into this season looking to go one better than the Playoff Final defeat to Aveley in May. In fact, they were also denied the season before in the Playoff final by Cheshunt.
If that wasn’t enough, they appointed ex Cardiff City manager Steve Morison as head coach over the summer, making their ambitions are clear and ensuring they will be a very tough side to beat all season long.
Last Time Out
It was the FA Cup last weekend for both teams, with the Blues beating Whitstable Town 3-2 away from home. It was a game we controlled for the majority and the scoreline perhaps doesn’t quite do justice to the flow of the game. That said, there were fantastic goals from Ruben Carvalho, taking his season tally to 5, as well as Anointed Chukwu.
Hornchurch, for their part, were 5-0 victors over Step 5 Fakenham Town. In the league, they have started strongly, yet to lose a game. Draws against Lewes and Carshalton mean that come into the game sitting in 5th place in the division, with just one more point than the Blues.
Head to Head
Last season’s ties saw Hornchurch win two from two, including a 4-2 win at the MRS in March. But the Blues have performed fairly well against the Urchins, winning at their ground on the last day of the 21/22 season thanks to a brilliant performance and goals from Manny Yeboah and Jake Eales.
Players to watch
The Wingate front three look electric right now, and goals have come this season from Zack Newton, Anointed Chukwu and Ruben Carvalho, the latter of whom’s strikes have often been unstoppable. Combined with Elliot Long it is a front line that looks sure to unsettle most defences in the division, and so confidence will be high going into the game. Likewise, since Will Seager’s introduction into the backline, the Blues have not lost, and have a goal difference of +4, a stat that he and the rest of the defence will be looking to boost during the game.
They will have their work cut out against a Hornchurch side that sees joint-league top goalscorer Liam Nash, who has fired in 6 times from the first five games. Their attacking firepower (which also includes Ade Yussuff and Sean Scannell), along with the fact that they haven’t kept a clean sheet away from home yet, sets up the tie nicely.
It’s a 3pm kickoff, and tickets are £12-£8-Free for adults, concessions and kids under 18.
The weather promises to be warm and sunny, so head down to N12 to see the promotion favourites try their luck against the Blues, who have made a fast start to the season.