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Ryman North: Jimmy McFarlane happy with Hornchurch squad, but wouldn’t turn down Ronaldo!

PUBLISHED: 12:52 23 March 2017

Hornchurch players celebrate Leon McKenzie's opener at Ware (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch players celebrate Leon McKenzie's opener at Ware (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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

Urchins manager reflects on recent departures and the frustrating 1-1 draw with Wroxham last weekend

After letting JJ Da Cruz and Ayrton Coley leave Hornchurch last week, boss Jimmy McFarlane has declared himself happy with the squad at his disposal.

Urchins resigned Abs Seymour earlier this month and brought in John Easterford from Great Wakering Rovers.

With today (Thursday) the final day for non-league clubs to strengthen, Hornchurch’s manager doesn’t expect any more movement at Bridge Avenue.

“It is just financial,” said McFarlane when asked about the recent departures. “We can’t afford to keep everyone.

“Both Coley and JJ are terrific lads and good players, but they were going to be so far down the pecking order now.

“You can’t keep them all, so if you are going to bring people in then you have to let others go. That is our business done unless Ronaldo because available.”

McFarlane was left frustrated with his Hornchurch side after a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to struggling Wroxham last weekend.

Martin Tuohy opened the scoring for Urchins at Bridge Avenue, but the relegation-threatened Ryman North side hit back with only 13 minutes remaining.

It meant Hornchurch dropped points, but stay third in the table, yet trail league leaders Brightlingsea Regent by 11 points.

McFarlane said: “It’s funny because I read on our forum somebody saying we always struggle in these type of games, but we haven’t this year.

“Unfortunately we just never got going and we have had to adapt to sides raising their game when they come to us, but we never matched the fight and endeavour shown by Wroxham’s players.

“It was a very frustrating afternoon and it makes it even worse when teams around you drop points.”

As McFarlane alluded too, most of Urchins play-off rival failed to win last weekend, although Brightlingsea extended their lead at the top.

Maldon & Tiptree lost at home to Brentwood Town, Thurrock were beaten at Soham Town Rangers and six-placed Cheshunt suffered a 3-0 defeat at VCD Athletic.

“Sometimes that makes the pain worse because you think we could have gained a bit more ground,” admitted McFarlane.

“I suppose all those teams around us are saying the same, so we have just got to keep going, but it’s a funny time of year.”

While Hornchurch’s manager was unhappy with the performance of his team against Wroxham, they still created a number of good opportunities.

Tuohy went close early on for Urchins before Leon McKenzie and Abs Thompson failed to hit the target.

After opening the scoring in the 29th minute through Tuohy, Hornchurch nearly made it 2-0 at the start of the second half, but Thompson hit the post.

Urchins, despite being below-par, should have increased their advantage and were punished for missed chances in the end.

Connor Deeks fired in following a corner and the hosts couldn’t force a late winner at Bridge Avenue.

“As poor as we played, we still got into some really good areas and Tuohy has two goals in three starts now,” said McFarlane.

“But I couldn’t put my finger on Saturday’s display. People say they get tired at this stage of the season, but they have played no more than Wroxham, so it was just a real frustrating day.”

With only six matches remaining, McFarlane will hope they only have good days at the office from this point forward.

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