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Hornchurch boss McFarlane wants to keep marching on

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 December 2017

Former Hornchurch striker Martin Tuohy in action for Barking (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

Former Hornchurch striker Martin Tuohy in action for Barking (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

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Hornchurch are hoping to extend their lead at the top of the Bostik North table as they face two games in three days to end the current year and kickstart 2018.

Jimmy McFarlane took charge of a record 460th match as Hornchurch boss last week (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo) Jimmy McFarlane took charge of a record 460th match as Hornchurch boss last week (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Urchins travel to take on the league’s surprise package Barking at Mayesbrook Park on Saturday (3pm), before returning home to host Brentwood at Bridge Avenue on New Year’s Day (Monday, 3pm).

Jim McFarlane’s men currently sit top by two points and have three games in hand over second-placed Bowers & Pitsea, but the boss says they can’t take anything lightly.

“Every game is going to be tough now until the end of the season so we’ve got to take each game as it comes,” he said. “It’s the same every week now. By hook or by crook we have got to just keep picking up points.

“We can only take our foot off a little when we can’t be caught.

Elliot Styles (right) broke Hornchurch's appearance record at the weekend (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) Elliot Styles (right) broke Hornchurch's appearance record at the weekend (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

“We have two tough games and we have to manage the fact that sides raise their game because we’re top of the league and they want to be the ones who want to beat the leaders.”

McFarlane saw Barking fall to a 2-0 home defeat against Witham Town on Boxing Day but felt they were unlucky and believes they have a strong squad.

“I watched Barking on Boxing Day and they were unlucky to get beaten by Witham, their goalkeeper had a magnificent game,” he added.

“They’ve got plenty of energy about them and you look at some of the pedigree of their players like Kieran Hughes-Mason for example and they’ve had a great career.

“The same as any opposition, I don’t take anyone for granted and I certainly won’t be taking Barking for granted.”

Urchins – for whom Elliot Styles made a club record 524th appearance against Bury on Saturday – also come up against former striker Martin Tuohy and McFarlane revealed he is not thrilled by that prospect.

“No, I’m not really looking forward to that,” he chuckled.

“I have had Martin a couple of times, he’s a great lad and a great finisher, and I had to release him purely and simply because of funds, nothing else.

“If I had known Ross Wall was going to leave a week later, I would have probably kept him, but that’s football.

“You have to make decisions and you have to live by them. I like Martin and I’ve said before he is one of football’s nice guys.”

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