McFarlane: We missed our chance

Hornchurch boss reflects on failed play-off bid

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane was in reflective mood after seeing his side’s Ryman Premier Division play-off hopes end at the weekend.

Urchins were held to a 1-1 draw by promotion rivals Kingstonian on Saturday, before a 4-1 win at relegation-threatened Aveley on Monday.

They can finish the season in eighth place with victory over Maidstone this weekend, if other results go their way, but McFarlane said: “I would’ve taken four out of six points at the weekend if we were there or thereabouts, but it’s a little bit too late.

“The people I spoke to after the Kingstonian game, who had no allegiances to us, said we should’ve won it 3 or 4-1 and that’s the story of our season, a lack of goals.

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“We could’ve had 8 or 9 at Aveley, but at the end of the day we’ve failed to reach the play-offs.

“Until three weeks ago, the top 12 could make the play-offs, which made it interesting.

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“We’ve got 66 points and can still potentially get 69. We only got 61 last year and three teams got in the play-offs with 68.

“But it was always going to be tougher this year. There are some good sides in this league, with some decent money.”

Hornchurch, generally, proved to be a match for most of their rivals in the top half of the table, but let vital points slip against lesser opponents.

And it was a fact not lost on McFarlane, who added: “Every side can do it [look back], but I’ve got to look at Horsham away [a 0-0 draw] and Margate, when we were leading comfortably and threw away points [in a 2-2 draw].

“We were the better side against Sutton [in a 1-1 draw], be beat Bury, we beat Tonbridge, we beat Concord twice and drew with Lowestoft. We’ve beaten most of the top sides so it is a bit frustrating.”

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