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Hornchurch FC looking to make history by winning FA Trophy at Wembley

Manager Mark Stimson has won the FA Trophy four times before as both a player and manager (Credit: Hornchurch FC)

Hornchurch FC will look to win the FA Trophy for the first time in the club’s history tomorrow. 

The Urchins beat National League side Notts County 5-4 on penalties in the semi-finals to secure their spot at Wembley. 

They have also overcome Darlington and Maidstone United, who compete in the National League North and National League South respectively, during their incredible run.

Manager Mark Stimson said his players have performed “remarkably”. 

“The level they have played at to reach this final is the equivalent to a League One side getting in the FA Cup final,” he said. 

“It doesn’t happen, it shouldn’t happen but we have made it happen. The players have made it happen.” 

Mark has been training eight of the players for eight years and he believes they are a “special group” with an “unreal” attitude. 

“They have got this bond between each other you don’t get in non-league football, you only get it in full-time football because you don’t spend enough time together. 

“They have been working with me since they were 16-year-olds so I’ve seen them change from boys to men.”

The team has had seven weeks to train since they took down Notts County as they are not currently playing league games. 

Mark explained they have been improving each week and said the players are in great shape. 

He has won the FA Trophy himself four times, once as a player and three times as a manager, but thinks beating Hereford will be a challenge. 

Mark said: “We expect a very difficult game because they play a level above but on the day you just don’t know do you? No one would have thought we would have gone to Darlington away in the quarter final and then Notts County away in the semi-final and win. 

“On the day it is about creating chances, taking chances but also not giving too much away because when you start playing teams at this level you can give too many chances away and if they take them you’ve got a mountain to climb.” 

Saturday will be a particularly special day for some of Hornchurch’s players who have not only never played at Wembley but have also never seen it in person. 

The team sat down to watch the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester last weekend and Mark told them “this week, this could be you”. 

“It is an achievement that hasn’t happened before, a team at our level getting to the final,” he added. 

“Will it happen again? I’m not sure but we’ve done it and we’re there.

“Now we’ve got to really go and enjoy it all and the best way to do that is to come away with the trophy. We know it is going to be difficult but we are up to that challenge.” 

Hornchurch FC will have the support of not only the fans watching at home but also 3,000 others who have been allowed to attend the stadium in person. 

Kick-off is at 4.15pm tomorrow afternoon. 

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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