Hornchurch hit the road for Trophy test

McFarlane: We shouldn’t fear anybody

Hornchurch will look to maintain their excellent form on the road when they visit Harrow in the FA Trophy tomorrow (Saturday).

Urchins recorded their sixth away win in seven Ryman Premier Division matches with a 4-0 success at Lewes last weekend, before they were replaced at the top of the table by Billericay in midweek.

But McFarlane will be on his guard when his side turn their attentions to the Trophy, saying: “Harrow have beaten Lowestoft, Hendon and Bury in the past month. They were unlucky against Kingstonian, they deserved something.

“We won’t fear them. Dave Anderson is a good manager and we’ll give them the respect they deserve.

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“If players have the belief that myself and John Purdie have got, we shouldn’t fear anybody.

“We’re better on the road at the moment, for whatever reason I don’t know.”

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Martin Tuohy netted a pair of penalties, before Lewis Smith and Jonathan Hunt also found the net at the Dripping Pan.

And McFarlane admitted the margin of victory came as something of a surprise.

He said: “We were away to a team who were title favourites at the start of the season and to win in that fashion, gives you a massive boost.

“I learnt a lot, even though we won 4-0. You always wonder are we good enough to stay in the top five.

“We’re the highest scorers in the league, but I’d rather be top in April.

“Teams have got to win their games in hand, but I’d rather be here now than where we were this time last year.

“I think it will stay tight. There won’t be a runaway leader. There are still sides like Concord who will turn the corner and be hard to beat as well. There aren’t many easy games.

Lewis Smith serves a one-game suspension after collecting five bookings, but McFarlane added: “It’s disappointing but it happens if you work hard. “Over the last month Lewis has been the catalyst for a lot of the good things we’re doing.

“His booking have been for forward tackles, not verbals. I’m sure we can get by without him. Aaron Gayle is back to full fitness and we’ve got a good enough bench to cope.”

Dave Collis and Donny Barnard have both been released and McFarlane added: “I’d love to keep them all, but we’re not in a position to do so.

“Dave, in fairness, helped us out last season but has not been able to hold down a place. Simon Glover is doing really well. He’s a good friend of mine, but it’s not about friends, it’s about football.”

Urchins travel to Conference South strugglers Thurrock on Tuesday for an Essex Senior Cup tie.

But McFarlane claimed the return to his former club, for whom he made xxx appearances during a lengthy playing career, has not featured too much in his thinking recently.

He added: “I haven’t thought about it too much, to be honest. Our biggest game at the moment is Saturday.

“It’s six years now and it’s strange we’ve never played them since.

“I took a Capital League side there a couple of years back and I want to win any game, even in training.

“We won’t take them lightly, but it’s probably not as important as it might’ve been if it had been during our first couple of years.

“It will be nice to see the supporters but it’ll be a tough game against a Conference South club.”

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