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Hornchurch look for home help

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

George Sessions
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
2:02 PM

Ryman Premier Preview: Hornchurch v Cray (7.45pm)

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Hornchurch welcome Cray Wanderers to Bridge Avenue tonight for the first of three consecutive home league matches.

And that sequence of fixtures are being viewed as “massive” games for the club, as they look to keep their promotion push on track.

Manager Jimmy McFarlane is adamant Urchins will not take the Ryman Premier Division’s basement boys lightly, with Maidstone and Dulwich also to visit Bridge Avenue over the next seven days, and revealed the focus is only on Cray.

He said: “Every one is a massive game now and we will not be taking anything for granted, regardless of the opposition.

“We won’t underestimate them. We played Grays when they were down there and we were complacent, so that won’t be happening this time.

“The target now is to stop looking over our shoulder and just concentrate on us, win our games and we won’t have to worry about everyone else; that is our aim now.”

Hornchurch put on a stunning display in the reverse fixture back in August as they smashed Cray 6-1.

This will be their third game in six days, following trips to Lewes (5-1) and Kingstonian (1-1), and although McFarlane believes his players will be tired, he has backed them to pull through.

“They are going to be tired but we are training less and less now and just trying to get people recovered in time,” he added.

“It is all about the recovery but they are fit lads so they’ll be fine just a little bit tired.

“We played Cray at the start of the season and that performance is only eclipsed by the one last Wednesday against Lewes where we played some beautiful football.”

Hornchurch played some good football in the first half against Kingstonian but despite George Purcell’s 14th-minute spot kick, a second half penalty for the hosts ensured it ended level.

On reflection, McFarlane admitted it was probably a good point and likened the result and performance to the draw with Bognor last month.

He added: “I was disappointed at the end, but in the cold light of day happy with a point against our rivals.

“It was bit like the Bognor game, we should have been out of sight in the first half but just couldn’t take our opportunities.

“Both defenders did well, but we had some glorious chances, but so did they second half. A draw was a fair result because it was a game of two halves.

“That is seven points out of nine and that includes two tough away games, so we’re very pleased.”

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