Hornchurch boss happy with reward
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
McFarlane: It’s nice to win something in tough season
Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane wore a weary smile after seeing his side win the Essex Senior Cup last night.
Lewis Smith’s double saw them beat Ryman Division One North champions Grays 2-1 at Dagenham & Redbridge, two days after a home defeat against Truro had sent them into the Conference South relegation zone.
Urchins have two league matches left to ensure their survival, but McFarlane was relieved to have some silverware to show for a tough season.
He said: “It’s nice to win something this year. It has been very tough, it’s tougher than what I expected.
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“Enjoyable but very, very tough.”
McFarlane played down his role in the cup win by stating it had been just a case of getting all the fittest players on the pitch.
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After Saturday’s defeat to Truro, it would have taken a lot for McFarlane to lift his men and he was just pleased the result matched their performance.
“It’s been a long weekend,” he added.
“It was putting the fittest 11 on a piece of paper and hoping for the best.
“We’ve been performing well since Christmas and the results haven’t matched our performances.
“Tonight the result matched the performance, I thought we controlled both halves.”
Hornchurch were favourites ahead of the final but Grays have been on an unbelievable run and McFarlane praised the opposition.
“They’ve won 17 games in a row and were 21 undefeated,” he said.
“In any league, you’re a good side if you do that.
“They have got a good side, and they’ll do alright next year in the Ryman Premier Division, I just hope they’re not rivals with us next year!”
Smith was the different between the sides and he owed his team after a sending-off at the weekend.
McFarlane jokingly admitted Smith isn’t the easiest player to manage, but applauded his efforts in the final.
“For other reasons, he should be playing professional football,” he said.
“I thought he was the difference. It’s also about headers and he’s won about three in four years, but improved that tonight!
“He’s the hardest person I’ve ever had to work with in my life and I’ve lost about four stone (working with him), but he made the difference, and for me he stood out.”