Hornchurch boss hits out after loss
12:30 06 May 2014
McFarlane: Mistakes did not help our cause
Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane was disappointed with some of the refereeing decisions in his side’s Ryman Premier play-off final defeat to Lowestoft Town but conceded the hosts were worthy winners.
Robert Eagle gave the Trawler Boys the lead before second-half strikes from Jake Reed and Curtis Haynes-Brown sealed a 3-0 win in front of 2,697 spectators at Crown Meadow.
McFarlane felt with the players Urchins had missing it was always going to take something monumental, but believed the officials made mistakes prior to all three goals.
He said: “It was always going to be tough and I kept it to myself, but we needed our big players around us.
“To not have Alex Bentley, Frank Curley, Stefan Payne and Elliot Styles (who failed a fitness test on the day), you would have to play unbelievably out of your skin to win a game here against a side as good as these and they are a good side.
“We weren’t helped by the referee and I am sick and tired of talking about how poor the referees are, but all three goals he had a hand in.
“The first one was handball, second one was handball and the third one was a push on Joey May, but that is not taking away from Lowestoft.
“I thought they were stronger than us, they competed more. They won more first and second balls and they looked more intelligent on the ball so it was their day and I don’t want to take nothing away from them.”
As is so often the case in finals the first goal was key, but McFarlane also felt the second, just three minutes into the second half, was the killer blow for Hornchurch.
“We knew they would start well. They are at home in front of nearly 3,000 people and it was a nervy ten minutes,” he added.
“We got to 15 minutes and I turned around and said to my assistant Grant Gordon ‘we’ve weathered the storm now and we can go on from this’ but it was a poor, poor goal to concede.
“First of all, it was handball and then the boy has gone through, but I thought he had a very weak shot and the goalkeeper should have done better, simple as that.
“After that it was always going to be an uphill struggle and I think if we don’t concede in the first five minutes, it becomes a tighter game but that killed us.”