Bentley backed to keep on scoring by Hornchurch boss McFarlane
PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 January 2016
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Urchins welcome Witham to Bridge Avenue looking to earn another win in the Ryman North
Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane believes Alex Bentley can continue to keep the goals going into 2016 after netting in their final match of the year.
Urchins romped past Great Wakering Rovers 5-0 on Monday to remain third in the Ryman North - just four points behind leaders Cray Wanderers.
They welcome Witham Town to Bridge Avenue for the first match of the New Year tomorrow (Saturday) with spirits high.
McFarlane’s men have won two of their past three games and scored eight times.
Bentley netted twice at Burroughs Park, his first goals for the club since October 2013, and was praised by his boss.
McFarlane said: “I remember during our promotion season in 2011/12, we played against Cray and Alex played on the left of midfield as they beat us.
“When we got promoted I picked him up after watching him a few times. He has got so much energy.
“He will be the first to admit that he hasn’t been the same since his shoulder injury. I think he was only playing at 70 per cent.
“But in the past three games he has been back to his best. He was fantastic against Great Wakering and bombed forward brilliantly.
“If he carries on doing that he will get more goals, but I was pleased with everyone on Monday.”
In-form striker George Purcell also scored twice against Great Wakering and David Knight was on target too as McFarlane watched his team cruise to another away success.
Now they are back at Bridge Avenue for the first match of 2016 and looking to beat Witham.
Garry Kimble’s men have been struggling since their relegation from the Ryman Premier last season, unlike the Urchins and Bury Town – who are currently both in the top eight.
But McFarlane explained just why, adding: “I think he had a tougher job than ourselves and Bury Town.
“I know Garry really well and met him at a football thing in the summer and we kept basically everyone we wanted, except for Frankie Curley to Billericay Town.
“We would’ve loved to have kept Frank, but we have added and have a better squad this season.
“But with Witham they have basically had to build from scratch and to be where they are having had to do that, I think Garry is doing a good job.”
Last year in the Ryman Premier, Hornchurch beat Witham at home, but disappointingly lost at Spa Road before suffering relegation.
McFarlane is determined to get one over Kimble, who is an old team-mate of his, and believes this is the type of match Urchins have slipped up in this season.
That was before beating Great Wakering on Monday, though, which has added to their confidence.
“Every team you play at the moment they are putting in their best performance against us,” added McFarlane.
“Witham will come and think they can spoil it for us and look to take points off one of the top five.
“I think we just need to keep the same desire as we had against Great Wakering because that match has actually been our Achilles heel this year.
“But me and Garry are old team-mates, we played together when we were at Purfleet. He got one over me last season so he will be keen to do the same, but so am I.”
With Witham 17th in the table, Hornchurch will be keen to continue their decent form at Bridge Avenue this weekend and close the gap on Cray at the top of the Ryman North table.