Hornchurch ‘lacking cutting edge’

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

McFarlane rues latest loss

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane admitted Maidstone’s clinical egde in front of goal won them the Ryman Premier Division points at Mill Field last night, but he was encouraged by his side’s second-half display.

The 2-0 defeat was Hornchurch’s seventh in eight league games as goals from Frannie Collin and Alex Flisher continued a poor start to the season for last season’s play-off finalists.

Urchins dominated most of the possession in the second period, but they just couldn’t convert their chances and were punished for sloppy mistakes in the first half, much to McFarlane’s frustration.

“I don’t know if I am seeing this wrong, but I thought we were the better team second half,” he said.

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“At the moment, you look at the balls that fall to Tobi Joseph and we haven’t scored and then you look at the balls that fall to them in the box and they are clinical.

“We are being punished for every little mistake. For the second, Phil Starkey gives a loose ball away in middle of park, we give a free kick away and we get punished for it.

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“I think they were a bit cleverer than us, we were a little naïve. They know how to, they have the experience and are big-earning Ryman players.”

Joseph’s woes in front of goal continued as he missed two gilt-edged chances to reduce the deficit against Maidstone and give Hornchurch a lifeline.

McFarlane is annoyed with his team’s inability to find the net, but is encouraged that they were able to match the Ryman Premier leaders at Aveley’s ground.

The Urchins boss also hailed the performance of Frankie Curley, who was exceptional in midfield.

“Tobi missed two – well they are a yard out aren’t they? – and it is frustrating,” he added.

“If we were getting annihilated and ran ragged and our goalie had to make loads of saves then I would be thinking we need to get seven or eight players in, but Maidstone haven’t really stretched us.

“Our back four and then the back three were comfortable with what Maidstone had to throw at us.

“I thought Frank was unbelievable, I really did. I thought Alex Bentley was fantastic, Omar Beckles as well.”

McFarlane will hope for a similar level of performance when Hornchurch return to their Bridge Avenue base to welcome second-placed Margate for their first true home fixture of the season on Saturday.

Supporters are reminded that the match will begin at the earlier time of 2pm.

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