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Ryman North: Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane backs Martin Tuohy to score more important goals at Brightlingsea

PUBLISHED: 16:00 31 March 2017

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

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

Urchins hitman struck a brace last weekend at home to Norwich United

George Purcell and Martin Tuohy of Hornchurch (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo) George Purcell and Martin Tuohy of Hornchurch (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane hopes striker Martin Tuohy is on target in the Ryman North this weekend when Urchins make the trip to Brightlingsea Regent.

Tuohy struck twice in a 2-0 home win for the Bridge Avenue club last weekend which saw Hornchurch stay third.

Urchins will need their recently-returned forward to be on form again this weekend, though, with hosts Regent looking on course to win the title.

But McFarlane believes the trip to North Road is the kind of game Tuohy will relish and is confident the striker will prove his worth once more.

“When Martin came back, it was a deal that raised a few eyebrows, but I always knew he’d be a good capture for us,” said the Hornchurch boss.

“Martin is someone who has been promoted before and he won’t be fazed by the big games, like the one at Brightlingsea this weekend or the play-offs.

“He’s a big game player and he has been for the best part of a decade; long may that continue, and hopefully it does with Hornchurch.”

Tuohy may soon have competition for a starting berth from former striker partner George Purcell, who returned from injury last week.

The all-time leading Hornchurch scorer made his playing return last weekend against the Planters, coming off the bench in stoppage time for his first appearance since December.

And McFarlane is delighted to have a player of Purcell’s quality back playing, but knows he has to be careful easing him back into action

“George coming back is like having a new, very prolific signing for us,” added the Urchins boss.

“He’s not fully fit just yet, but he played another 45 minutes in the week to keep topping him up.

“Hopefully he’ll be there by the last week of the season and for the play-offs, when he’ll be a huge boost not just for us coaches, but for the players too.”

As for the match with Brightlingsea, it promises to be an exciting showdown between two sides near the top of the table.

Defeat for Urchins would almost certainly end any outside hopes of a late charge to the title, but a win would take the Bridge Avenue club a step closer to securing a home semi-final in the play-offs.

And McFarlane is eagerly anticipating the clash between two of the better teams in the division this season.

“Games like these are the ones games that you look forward to the most, coming up against the favourites for the league title,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how we get on, and we know it’ll be a true display from both teams.

“Brightlingsea are top because they’ve been the most consistent team this season, and we’re full aware how good they have been recently.”

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