EAST Thurrock United will be vying to make home advantage count tonight.

John Coventry’s East Thurrock are preparing to compete in an eye-catching Essex derby in the Isthmian Premier League, with Hornchurch making the short journey to the Grayers Graphics Stadium.

A narrow 1-0 defeat to Cray Wanderers saw Rocks drop 10 points adrift of the play-off spots, although East Thurrock have four games in hand over fifth-placed Carshalton Athletic.

Hornchurch are one of the sides currently in the play-off positions, having impressed regularly throughout the campaign.

Under the stewardship of former Southend United defender Mark Stimson, the Urchins were among the pre-season favourites to clinch the title.

Despite being nine points worse off than current leaders Worthing, Hornchurch are expected to challenge for a place in the second tier of non-league football.

Rocks welcome Hornchurch to the Grayers Graphics Stadium looking to bounce back from a slender loss to Cray.

Rhys Murrell-Williamson scored what proved to be the only goal of the contest seven minutes after the interval.

However, a key moment in the contest came soon after the half-hour mark as left-back Jordan Brown was given his marching orders following a reckless challenge.

Despite the red card, Brown remains in contention to feature against Hornchurch as his three-match suspension does not come into effect until this weekend.