Ryman North: Jimmy McFarlane pleased with Hornchurch squad despite Ryman League Cup defeat to Dulwich Hamlet
15:00 16 February 2017
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Urchins boss backs Great Wakering Rovers to survive in the Ryman North this season after impressing last weekend
Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane was happy to see his team push Dulwich Hamlet all the way in the Ryman League Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.
Urchins were leading the Ryman Premier outfit for long periods after goals from Kenzer Lee and Tobi Coker put them 2-1 ahead at Bridge Avenue.
But Dulwich fought back with Gavin Tomlin and Ashley Carew scoring in the final six minutes to earn a 3-2 success.
“I think for the first hour we were the better side and we missed a great chance at 2-1,” said McFarlane.
“Tobi was replaced by James Morrish and he was played in by Abs Thompson and it looked harder to miss than score.
“But James didn’t take it and in the end Dulwich Hamlet punished us for not being clinical enough.
“They brought on a couple of their big guns and I’ve always said the difference between the Ryman Premier and the North division is finishing.
“Even when they got level we had another chance, but I was pleased with our performance.”
Although Hornchurch would have loved to progress to the last four of the competition, their main focus is promotion.
McFarlane’s team continued their remarkable form last weekend with a 5-2 victory at Great Wakering Rovers.
Ross Wall opening the scoring, but the hosts hit back to ensure it was level at half time.
Hornchurch dominated after the restart, however, with Abs Thompson putting them ahead and Leon McKenzie hitting yet another hat-trick in a 5-2 win.
“Last weekend wasn’t the most fluent performance we have had all year. First half we were fortune to be level,” said McFarlane.
“After Saturday I can still see Great Wakering getting out of trouble because Keith Wilson has brought in some very good players.
“For the first 45 minutes they were better than us and then we had a chat at half time and I had a bit of a grizzle.
“We upped it after the break and 5-1 flattered them in the end before they managed to score a late consolation.”
After netting a hat-trick on Saturday, McKenzie was afforded the rest of the week off to preserve his fitness ahead of the final two months of the campaign.
McFarlane added: “Leon had a little knock after the Great Wakering match, so having the whole week off would have done him no harm.”