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Bishop's Stortford manager Steve Smith sets target of reeling in leaders Worthing in Isthmian Premier promotion race ahead of Hornchurch match



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Steve Smith has set his Bishop's Stortford players' New Year resolution – to catch league leaders Worthing and get promoted as champions.

The Blues manager watched his side defeat Cheshunt 3-1 on New Year's Day in front of their biggest home crowd of the season – 606 – and they now sit third in the Pitching In Isthmian League, Premier Division, nine points behind the table-toppers with a game in hand.

And the boss has set his squad the target of reeling in Worthing, who lost 2-1 at Carshalton Athletic on Monday, ahead of their showdown at the R&D Advisors UK Stadium on February 19.

Ryan Charles leaps to head in the Blues' first goal in their 3-1 home win over Cheshunt on New Year's Day. Picture: Nathan Cracknell (54053635)
Ryan Charles leaps to head in the Blues' first goal in their 3-1 home win over Cheshunt on New Year's Day. Picture: Nathan Cracknell (54053635)

"Teams right the way down to ninth and 10th will think they can make the play-offs, but we're looking to win it that's for sure," said Smith, whose side have had longer to prepare for Saturday's trip to ninth-placed Hornchurch after Monday's game at Potters Bar Town was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

"We've still got 20-odd games left so that's a lot of points to play for. We're definitely looking to win it outright, but so are a lot of other teams.

"We've got ourselves in good shape that's for sure and we've got a good run of games coming up.

"We've got to keep doing what we're doing and if we can do that then we'll be in the pack."

James Thomas could be out for some time after picking up a knee injury in the win over Cheshunt while both his younger brother Jack and Ben Marlow are also set to miss the game at Hornchurch with leg and groin problems respectively.

The Blues go into the match on a 14-game unbeaten run in the league while the Urchins have won five of their last six, including a 5-1 success at Brightlingsea Regent on Monday.



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