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Hornchurch boss expects hard test

11:00 25 February 2014

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane looks on during his side

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane looks on during his side's win over Leiston (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

McFarlane: Canvey are the form team

Hornchurch host Canvey tonight and manager Jimmy McFarlane thinks his side will be facing the form team in the Ryman Premier Division at Bridge Avenue.

Canvey are the only side in the league to have won their last three matches and have beaten the likes of Wealdstone and Dulwich in 2014, as well as holding Maidstone to a draw.

McFarlane saw his side held to a 1-1 draw at Bognor at the weekend and is expecting another tough test, although he concedes they will all be hard matches until the end of the season.

He said: “They are a side doing well and teams underneath us always raise their game, so it will be tough.

“Every game between now and the end of the season is going to be tough with so much to play for.

“Canvey are the form team in the league at the moment. They beat Maidstone and Wealdstone as well, so it will be a tough match.”

The fixture was originally scheduled for January 18 but like many last month was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

McFarlane foresees no such problems this time around, though, adding: “Unless we have snow it will be going ahead but it wouldn’t surprise me if we did knowing this country!”

The Urchins boss normally tries to watch his opponents first hand, but the fixture scheduling has meant he has been unable to see Canvey recently.

McFarlane does however believe they will be similar to Bognor and he has backed centre-backs Elliot Styles and Rickie Hayles, a former Gulls defender, to keep prolific Canvey striker John Sands quiet.

“I haven’t seen them but I’ve had someone watch them,” he added.

“They have been playing on all the same nights as us so I haven’t been able to, but I am told they play similar to Bognor and attack in numbers.

“John Sands is a good player but having said that we have been good in defence, with Rickie Hayles and Elliot Styles brilliant all season.

“Rickie will be up against his old club, but he only needs to continue doing what he has been doing all season.”

Romford are due to visit Waltham Abbey in Ryman One North, having been held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man Witham at the weekend.

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