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Bostik North: Hornchurch looking to take points off promotion rivals Dereham Town and Barking

PUBLISHED: 17:30 19 January 2018

Hornchurch's Colin McBride and Jim McFarlane look on (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch's Colin McBride and Jim McFarlane look on (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Urchins visit Magpies on Saturday and host Blues on Tuesday

George Purcell of Hornchurch scored the winner against Waltham Abbey in the Bostik North on Saturday (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) George Purcell of Hornchurch scored the winner against Waltham Abbey in the Bostik North on Saturday (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch can take another step closer to promotion from the Bostik North this week with victory over two of their rivals to go up.

Urchins make the trip to Dereham Town on Saturday, before returning home to host local rivals Barking on Tuesday night.

Ahead of the weekend’s games, Dereham sit fourth in the table, with the Blues just outside the play-off places in eighth.

Two wins for the Bridge Avenue club this weekend would see them take points of their promotion rivals, something boss Jimmy McFarlane is keen to do.

Tobi Joseph of Hornchurch and Ayrton Coley of Waltham Abbey (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) Tobi Joseph of Hornchurch and Ayrton Coley of Waltham Abbey (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

“We have to keep doing what we’re doing,” he said. “At the moment, it’s points before performance. Lately, we’ve played poorly and won; we’ve played well and won; and we’ve played OK and won.

“Let’s hope in four games time I’m saying the same.

“We’re now 20 points ahead of Haringey Borough (in seventh), which is a lot to catch up.

“We have to keep winning. Every game we win puts more pressure on the chasing pack, so let’s hope we get to a point where we only need a point a game for five or six games.”

Hornchurch head into the this week’s matches on a four-game winning streak, which includes victories over Waltham Abbey and Haringey in the past week.

A Sam Robins own goal, as well as efforts Theo Fairweather-Johnson, Matthias Fanimo, Nathan Livings and George Purcell saw Urchins edged Abbots in a 5-4 thriller on Saturday.

Two days later, Fairweather-Johnson and Leon McKenzie both scored from set pieces to help McFarlane’s men down Boro 2-1.

And the Hornchurch boss is keen for his team to continue being a threat from dead balls in their next two games.

“This is the first year that we’ve scored more goals from open play than set pieces, but sometimes when it isn’t your night, a set piece can win you a game,” he added.

Heading into the weekend, Hornchurch will be sweating on the fitness of Fairweather-Johnson, who went off midway through the first half at Haringey.

But McFarlane revealed it was only a precautionary move to replace the in-form attacker.

“Theo rolled his ankle on Saturday and he got two kicks early on against Haringey. Artificial surfaces are very unforgiving, so we had to get him off.” said the Urchins boss.

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