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Bostik North: Jimmy McFarlane issues a rallying cry as Hornchurch eye FA Cup success at Hertford Town

PUBLISHED: 17:00 15 September 2017

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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

Bridge Avenue club aiming to go far in the famous, old competition this season and reward loyal supporters and staff

Jimmy McFarlane believes it is about time Hornchurch had a great run in the FA Cup and is keen to give their loyal fans, as well as the hard-working staff, something to cheer about.

The last time Urchins reached the first round proper of the famous, old competition was back in 2008 where they lost 1-0 to Peterborough United at a packed-out Bridge Avenue.

McFarlane has twice nearly led his team to that stage again, but seen them come up short in 2013 and 2015, yet he hopes it will change this year.

Urchins travel to Bostik North rivals Hertford Town tomorrow (Saturday) for a second qualifying round clash and the Hornchurch boss is determined to see his team progress.

“To have a run in the FA Cup you need an element of luck,” said McFarlane.

“Firstly with the draw you get and secondly, sooner rather than later you have to play a side above the league you play in.

“When it is like that, everything needs to go right on the day because they are a better side than you as they are in the division above.

“But I’ve been there and done it and I know it’s achievable – we just need to have that little bit of belief.

“An FA Cup run would be brilliant for the club and the fans as well because it has been a few years and I feel we deserve it for how hard we all work over there.”

Fortunately for Hornchurch in this round, the draw has, to an extent, been kind, as instead of potentially facing clubs from the Bostik Premier and National League South, they’ve been drawn away to a divisional rival.

Hertford Town defeated Grays Athletic 3-2 in a first qualifying round replay on Wednesday September 6 – a match which McFarlane watched.

He praised the quality of the Blues, who were promoted from the Spartan South Midlands League last season, and was surprised to see they had lost 4-0 to Waltham Abbey on Tuesday.

“I was impressed with Hertford and Grays last week,” said McFarlane.

“And I was shocked they got beat 4-0 on Tuesday, but it is the FA Cup and you have upsets.

“For us, as long as we go about our business like we have been doing then we should be alright, but we won’t be underestimating them in any shape or form.”

Hornchurch also host Aveley next Tuesday in the League Cup, assuming their FA Cup tie doesn’t go to a replay.

McFarlane will look to give minutes to Sean Roberts and Martin Tuohy against the Millers next week.

And the Urchins boss believes having that type of quality on the bench highlights the strength in depth at Hornchurch.

“Sean will need minutes and he will be involved and Martin hasn’t played a lot of football,” said McFarlane.

“It shows you the strength in depth we have when they are the type of calibre of players we are talking about coming in on Tuesday for a League Cup game.

“I believe it says a lot about our squad when the people coming in don’t really weaken our side at all.”

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