Inigo added to Hornchurch squad ahead of Romford friendly

Rickie Hayles has signed a new deal to stay at AFC Hornchurch. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Rickie Hayles has signed a new deal to stay at AFC Hornchurch. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Urchins also sign up three of last year’s squad.

Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane has signed Spanish goalkeeper Inigo ahead of today’s (Saturday’s) friendly against Romford at Thurrock.

The 21-year-old – full name Inigo Echepare Cano – has impressed during outings against Dover Athletic and Cambridge City while on trial as the Urchins try to overcome a goalkeeping crisis.

McFarlane’s men were left in the lurch when regular number one Joe Woolley recently quit the club to play in Australia.

The manager has been frantically looking for a replacement and Inigo – who came through the ranks at Segunda Division B outfit Real Union, once had a trial with Liverpool’s academy and more recently trained with Wycombe and Barnet – is the answer.

McFarlane said: “He’s got a good pedigree and I think he’s looking good.”

Former West Ham youngster Sam Baxter has also been on trial with the Urchins but has been unable to play in the last two friendlies.

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McFarlane said: “Sam took a slight knock, so he hasn’t been able to figure in the last two games.

“He’s still under consideration, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

Hornchurch slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Conference South side Dover on Saturday, with trialist Ugo Udoji scoring just two minutes into the game.

But they notched up their second pre-season win when they beat Southern Premier Division outfit Cambridge City 3-1 at Histon on Tuesday evening.

First-half goals by Carl Rook, Martin Tuohy and George Purcell put the visitors in command before Josh Beech pulled a goal back for City on the hour mark.

The game saw two Spanish goalkeepers oppose each other, with Inigo later communicating with Cambridge’s Enol Odonez on Twitter.

New full-back Phil Starkey also played in both games and McFarlane is happy to have the former Margate man on board.

He said: “I’ve liked him for a while and am pleased to get him.”

He added: “For 35 minutes against Cambridge we were excellent but then we took our foot off the pedal.

“But we looked good going forward and appear to have goals in us, so overall I’m pleased with how things went.”

Frankie Curley, Tambeson Eyong, Billy Coyne and Joey May all signed contracts with the Urchins last week and Rickie Hayles, Michael Spencer and Chris Bourne followed suit on Thursday night.

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