Hornchurch hope for Trophy lift

McFarlane puts league problems behind him

Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane is hoping the FA Trophy can provide a welcome distraction to his side’s current struggles.

Urchins welcome Bishop’s Stortford to Bridge Avenue tomorrow (Saturday), having suffered a fifth successive Conference South defeat last weekend.

McFarlane’s men returned empty-handed from their 650-mile round trip to Truro and he is looking for a lift back on home turf.

He said: “It’s a week off from the league and the pressure of that, so it might be good for us.

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“The mood in the camp is good, as good as can be expected considering the run we’re on.

“Fully-fit, with a full team, we’re a match for anyone and we’ve proved it against Dover, Salisbury and others.”

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Hornchurch’s cause has not been helped by a raft of injuries in recent weeks, with new players still settling in.

McFarlane was hoping to add another new face to the ranks before the weekend and added: “A few boys are nearer returning from injury, big-game players like Reiss and Paul have been missed, most sides would miss players like them.

“We missed Wayne (Gray) as well on Saturday. He has been excellent since he came into the side but had a slight knock.

“If we can get it sorted, hopefully we’ll have a new player involved as well.”

Conference North Stortford suffered late FA Cup heartache against Hastings last weekend and are led by former Aveley boss Rod Stringer.

McFarlane added: “Rod is a mate of mine and when there’s that friendship there, you don’t want to lose to someone you know well.

“He’ll get them up for it and I’ve got to do the same.”

In-form Romford face an unwanted break in Ryman Division One North.

Boro moved up to sixth with a last-gasp win over Potters Bar last weekend, but their midweek fixture at Waltham Abbey fell victim to a waterlogged pitch.

Scheduled opponents Brentwood are in FA Trophy action tomorrow (Saturday), which means Boro must wait until next Saturday to visit Waltham Forest.

Boss Paul Martin is the guest speaker at the next meeting of the Romford Referees Society on Monday, though.

The meeting at Harold Wood Sports pavilion starts at 8pm and is open to all local referees and others considering taking up the whistle.

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