Hornchurch had ‘more devilment’

We’ve gone for it says McFarlane

Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane was elated, relieved and exhausted after seeing his side secure promotion to Conference South.

And he believes their success in the Ryman Premier Division play-off against Lowestoft, and over the course of the season, was down to a willingness to keep on going.

He said: “It’s as good as anything I’ve ever done. I don’t like going overboard, I’m exhausted and just want my pillow!

“Take nothing away from Lowestoft. They’re a good side.

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“But we drew so many games last year, I think it was 15 or 16, and wondered how many could we have won with a bit more devilment.

“Purds and I were both defenders and it makes you a bit defensive, but I’ll take a chance and any backlash.

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“We were prepared to go out and win. We’ve had that bit of devilment, when it has been 1-1 or 0-0, we’ve gone for it.”

McFarlane used a couple of prime examples to back up his case and his side’s refusal to settle for anything less than a win came to the fore again with Michael Spencer’s 119th-minute winner.

“Leatherhead away, it was still 0-0 after 85 minutes and we brought an attacker on and won it,” added McFarlane.

“Concord absolutely battered us for 45 minutes and we went in 1-0 down. It should’ve been more and we had a few choice words, but the reaction I got was excellent.

“Martin Tuohy could hardly walk at the end. Aaron Gayle played on with what turned out to be a ruptured cruciate. We got it to 1-1 and said lets go on and win it.

“Our team plays football, we can play, and that has been the difference. We’ve gone for it when last year we would’ve settled for a point.”

After a tense, goalless 90 minutes, Urchins got their noses in front against Lowestoft thanks to substitute Leon McKenzie.

But the visitors hit back from the penalty spot through Dean Sinclair and the tie looked like going to a shoot-out when Spencer put Urchins into dreamland.

McFarlane continued: “They got a little foothold in the game and we had to go 4-4-2.

“Martin Tuohy can always score you a goal and takes penalties, but I took him off against great advice as I felt Lewis (Smith) had been a thorn in their side all day.

“If you looked at our bench, Jonathan Hunt’s had a great season, Leon has been superb and turned the game in extra time.

“Tambeson Eyong would kick his granny for half an hour if you asked him to.

“Michael Spencer is the model semi-professional. He’s never late, he never misses training and gives everything. He’s as brave as they come and may have felt hard done by, but he wants to win.

“Michael has played in 60 per cent of the positions for us and never moaned. I’ve had more chats with him than anyone and he got his rewards. He’s a very nice bloke and you get what you put in.”

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