Dom Di Paola has warned his side to be ‘alert to the strengths’ of prolific goalscorer Jamie Cureton ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Bishop’s Stortford.
The table-toppers make the journey to Hertfordshire on the annually celebrated Non League Day, where we hope to extend our unbeaten league run to seven games.
Bishop’s Stortford are in a period of change, since owner Steve Smith stepped away as joint-first team manager nine days ago, and the aforementioned Cureton will take charge of his first game since assuming full responsibility.
The 44-year-old’s goalscoring ability and career longevity has already seen him go down in English football folklore.
Starting his career at Norwich City in 1994, Cureton is one of only 29 footballers in the World to make 1000 competitive appearances. He has scored over 350 goals in a career which has seen him play for 17 different clubs across the eight tiers of English football, and even a brief spell in South Korea at Busan IPark.
Since joining the Blues in 2018, Cureton has returned 27 goals from 50 appearances and Dom is in no doubt about his quality.
Dom said: “Jamie is a worldie at our level. Even though he’s an older guy, I don’t think you lose that knack and he’s clearly a fit guy that looks after himself and got that professional mindset.
“He is going to want to make an impact, without a doubt. He’s going to be a problem for us, but we’re aware of it and we’ve just got to be alert to his strengths.”
Bishop’s Stortford are in a wretched run of form, losing five out of their last five games in all competitions, conceding 16, and scoring just three in that period.
However, Dom is taking nothing for granted. He said: “On paper, they’re a really good side. I don’t look into form because it’s one of those things which is always going to change so it’s not worth looking at it.
“If it’s going well, you’re going to have a defeat sometimes, if you’re losing you’re going to win sometimes so I don’t think form is a good one to go by really. All I know is that we’re going to be in for a tough game so we’ve just got to respect them as a good side.”
The Hornets have not faced Bishop’s Stortford since 1980, when Dave Haining earned the Hornets a point at Queen Street after going a goal down before half-time.
Will Miles is still unavailable after picking up a groin strain last Saturday while Dom admitted he is unsure whether Kieran Lavery will be back to full fitness.
Tomorrow’s match at The ProFit UK Stadium, CM23 5RG, kicks off at 3pm, and Premier League or Championship season ticket holders will be given free entry to celebrate Non League Day.
Admission prices are as follows: Adults £12, Concessions £8, Students with ID, £6, U16s £1. U12s accompanied by an adult go in for free.
Horsham supporters wanting to make the trip can still book a space on the club-run coach by calling 01403 458854 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leaving Hop Oast Park & Ride at 11am, the return fare costs just £13 and you’ll get to hang out with the players on the journey there and back.
Prior to the trip, we will also be offering breakfast at the clubhouse from 9.30am.
As usual, supporters who can’t make the trip can keep up to date via our Facebook and Twitter coverage.