July 22 2014 Latest news:
by George Sessions
Monday, April 21, 2014
McFarlane ready for derby test
Hornchurch still have a chance of finishing second in the Ryman Premier Division according to manager Jimmy McFarlane, but only victory at Canvey today will keep up their chances of achieving that goal.
Urchins were beaten 3-2 by Hampton & Richmond at Bridge Avenue on Saturday and dropped to fourth in the table, three points behind Bognor in second, but just a point above Dulwich in sixth.
McFarlane believes the remaining fixtures left for play-off rivals Bognor, Kingstonian, Lowestoft, Dulwich and Maidstone gives Urchins a great chance of achieving a top-three finish – especially as Dulwich and Kingstonian face each other on the final day of the season.
He said: “I still think we have got a great chance of finishing second, but not playing like we did against Hampton.
“People keep saying to me they (play-off rivals) all have tough games, but we’ve probably got the toughest today because it is a local derby.
“Because Dulwich and all of them are playing one another in the next two games they can’t all get maximum points but it makes no difference if we don’t.
“Bognor are on 82 and Maidstone are 75, but Dulwich are just outside on 78 and we’re on 79 so it is really close. Maidstone would have to win both their games but I think every one will be trying to win the two games.”
McFarlane was extremely disappointed with his side in the previous meeting with Canvey in February.
A George Purcell goal rescued Urchins a point but at the time the Hornchurch manager called their performance “unacceptable.”
He is expecting another battle this afternoon at Park Lane but believes his players will be able to handle the quick turnaround.
“It was a battle and Canvey are a decent side,” added McFarlane.
“It will be a tough one, but we have got to try pick ourselves up and dust ourselves down after Hampton.
“Last Saturday against Harrow, after Thursday night against Hampton, our energy levels were excellent. So they should be good today because a lot of them didn’t used any energy Saturday!
“We couldn’t have picked a worst place going away, but we have won at better places than Canvey this year so we will have to try and get ourselves going again.”