Hornchurch boss lauds Luke following Witham win
16:00 10 December 2014
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
Urchins won for the first time in the league at Bridge Avenue yesterday
Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane praised Junior Luke after his second half introduction helped pick up a vital three points in the Ryman Premier last night against Witham Town.
Michael Malcolm gave the hosts the lead at Bridge Avenue after 25 minutes, but Southend loanee Ellis Brown cancelled that out seven minutes later with a well taken penalty.
But George Purcell fired in the winner 15 minutes before the end to move Hornchurch up to 22nd in the table.
Luke was introduced just before the hour mark and played an important part in giving Urchins much needed impetus.
McFarlane said: “The pluses are we got a win and Junior Luke came on and looked like he was getting back to his old self.
“We forget as well how young we are because we have Frankie Curley and Elliot Styles, but you look at Joe Christou, who is 19.
“We have a few 19 and 20-year-old’s on our bench, but Junior comes on and looks what he is and that is an experienced Ryman Premier player.
“I think he gave us another dimension because he is a clever footballer. He rolled things down the line and he got throw-ins and free kicks and I thought he turned the half.”
McFarlane insisted Witham’s Brown was offside when he received the ball inside Hornchurch’s box, prior to winning a spot-kick for his team.
But felt his team looked to blame everyone else during a dour first half at Bridge Avenue and revealed assistant manager Grant Gordon echoed those views strongly at the break.
“I thought the first half we looked to blame everybody else including the referee and the linesmen, but we needed to take a hard look at ourselves,” added McFarlane.
“A few words were exchanged at half time and my assistant manager lost his temper. He threw a tantrum because we said to them ‘you are letting yourselves down, you are better than that.’
“The penalty was two-yards offside, way offside, but I am not going to criticise the officials because I have done enough of that.”
McFarlane and Hornchurch will look to continue their three-match unbeaten run this weekend when they host rivals Kingstonian.