Hornchurch boss wants better

AFC Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

AFC Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

McFarlane seeking response at Lewes

Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane wants to see a reaction from his players, following their opening-day loss at East Thurrock at the weekend.

Ryman Premier Division Urchins travel to Lewes tonight on the back of a 1-0 defeat at Rookery Hill, where former striker Lewis Smith netted the only goal of the game.

And McFarlane was extremely disappointed by the defeat, saying: “It was a complete shock. We’d had such a good pre-season, had looked energetic and fit, everything you want.

“But other than Phil Starkey, who was excellent, the rest just didn’t turn up. Maybe we thought it was going to be easier than it was. We never got going, were second best all over the park and got what we deserved.”

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Hornchurch must play the first seven fixtures of the season on the road, due to ongoing works at their Bridge Avenue home, and McFarlane is keen for his side to open their account sooner rather than later.

He added: “Being away for all these games was always going to be our toughest little period. After Lewes, who I think are going to be there or thereabouts this season, we’ve got to go to Kingstonian and Leiston.

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“We’re trying to pick up our first point somewhere to settle down. I’m under no illusions we’ll be alright, but you want to get a game like Saturday out of your system as quickly as possible.”

Chris Bourne will have a late fitness test after picking up a knock against East Thurrock, but is rated as ‘very doubtful’ by McFarlane, who remains without George Purcell and Frankie Curley.

“George and Frank will be back at Kingstonian and Frank will come back in so tonight is a chance for the other midfield boys. We were outmuscled on Saturday and I’ve not said that a lot over the years.”

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