Hornchurch hopeful for Christmas spell

Tough festive tests for Urchins

Jimmy McFarlane admits Hornchurch face a particularly tough festive period this season, with three hard games in a week.

Urchins visit Ryman Premier Division leaders Billericay on Tuesday, then travel to fierce rivals Canvey on New Year’s Eve before hosting secon-placed Lowestoft on January 2.

But McFarlane knows some positive results could give his squad a huge lift going into 2012.

He said: “The season isn’t decided at Christmas, but it would be very nice to take maximum points.

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“It’s a tough Christmas period, but it would give us a massive confidence boost.

“I’m looking forward to the Billericay game. There should be a good crowd, it’s just a shame we won’t have Lewis (Smith) or Tommo (Andy Tomlinson).”

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Smith serves a one-game suspension following his sending-off against Farnborough in the FA Trophy, while Tomlinson has a three-game ban afer a straight red card in the Essex Senior Cup at Colchester.

“Someone else will get a chance and they’ve got to take their opportunity,” added McFarlane, who has watched Craig Edwards’ Billericay twice in recent weeks.

“We know what they’re about,” he said. “Craig’s sides always work hard, but we’ve got a game-plan and if we stick to it and it works, hopefully we’ll get three points.

“We always find it tough at Canvey, although we were the better side until they scored last season (a 3-0 defeat).

“But we’ve had a better start than last year and if we can have the same sort of second half, where will that leave us?

“I’ve not had time to work it out, but if I get a spare two minutes at Christmas I might look back and work it out!”

Coach tickets will be on sale for Hornchurch’s FA Trophy trip to Grimsby from 7-8pm on Thursday (December 29) and at the Lowestoft match on January 2.

They will cost �20 adults and �15 under 16s. Call Rob on 07531 088777 for more details.

*Romford visit Grays on Monday in a Ryman One North contest given a little bit of extra spice given recent off-field developments.

Currently ground-sharing at East Thurrock, Grays could well be playing at the Ford Sport & Social Club in Rush Green, which Romford used to call home, in 2012/13.

It is believed a deal has been agreed with Championship club West Ham United, who bought the land a few years back and planned to turn it into their new training base before the global recession hit those hopes.

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