Urchins boss sees positives in forwards

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane gives the thumbs up (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane gives the thumbs up (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

McFarlane disappointed with cup exit but pleased with goals

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane tried to stay positive, despite exiting the FA Cup this week following a penalty shoot-out defeat to East Thurrock.

The sides drew 1-1 in their first qualifying round tie at Bridge Avenue on Saturday, with old boy Lewis Smith cancelling out George Purcell’s opener to send the tie to a replay at Rookery Hill.

And although Purcell scored again, alongside the returning Martin Tuohy, on Tuesday, Sam Higgins and David Bryant forced extra time and eventually penalties.

Junior Dadson and Tobi Joseph both failed from the spot, meaning Hornchurch lost the shootout 4-3 and missed out on the £3,000 prize money and a trip to Met Police.

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But although McFarlane was disappointed, he was trying to remain positive, he said: “I’m bitterly disappointed.

“I know how bad it is to pay for things, now the council are asking for more money, so I wanted to give something back to the club.

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“We haven’t lost a game in open play for three games so there are positives to take out of it, but it is hard to stay positive sometimes, especially with the luck we are having!”

One of the major positives for McFarlane was the return of forward Tuohy, who had been unavailable since August 23, when he suffered a groin injury against Leatherhead.

Tuohy returned on Saturday with a cameo appearance – where he came close to scoring a late winner, but hit the post with an overhead kick - and he went on to score his second goal of the season at Rookery Hill on Tuesday, playing 83 minutes of the replay.

McFarlane was “chuffed” for the striker and also surprised with how long he lasted midweek.

“Martin did better than I thought,” he added. “I thought he would only play for an hour, but he looked good and worked really hard.

“He was still working hard when I thought he would be knackered and he scored as well.

“He had a few other chances and a month down the line he’ll score them. I was really chuffed with his performance.”

McFarlane has also been pleased to see Purcell return to his best form over the past week. The forward has three goalsin three matches now following his strikes against Rocks.

And the Urchins boss believes his side will always find the net, which is a stark contrast to the start of the season when they scored just three goals in nine games.

McFarlane added: “George and Martin are scoring, so that is a positive. I remember saying last year, if we can keep a clean sheet I know we will win because we always score and that is the case now.”

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