Hat-trick hero Leon hails Hornchurch team-mates

PUBLISHED: 15:30 16 January 2017

Leon Mckenzie of Hornchurch (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Leon Mckenzie of Hornchurch (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Striker reflects on latest win at Witham

Hat-trick hero Leon McKenzie paid tribute to his team-mates following their 5-1 win at Ryman North rivals Witham Town.

McKenzie struck twice in a minute in the first half to put Urchins on top, then volleyed home a superb third goal to take his tally for the season to 26.

Abs Thompson and Kenzer Lee were also on target in the romp, as Jimmy McFarlane’s promotion hopefuls maintained their hold on fourth place and McKenzie said: “Performance-wise, to be fair, the team did well, we grafted and it helped me to get my three goals.

“The first one, their centre-back pulled my arm and I was going down anyway but I saw that Kenzer (Lee) had headed it back and as it dropped and was bouncing I just threw a kick at it and it went in and I was quite happy with it to be fair.

“Junior (Luke) then made a good run and shrugged a few players off before the ball came over, but I managed to see the defender come across me, I just left the ball and then toe-punted it in. They all count!

“The third one, I was quite pleased with that because we worked on that. It was a good team effort with Gary down the right. He made a challenge, got up from it and managed to put it across and I’ve managed to volley it home.”

It was a fourth treble of the season for McKenzie, following his exploits against Haringey Borough and Enfield Town in the league cup in September and October and in a leauge win over Ware last month.

And the tall striker, having battled his way back from a bad knee ligament injury, admits he is delighted to be finding the net so regularly alongside Ross Wall, adding: “With the injuries I had, being out for two years, I just wanted to get fit and 26 goals, I’m happy with it.

“Ross has been working hard, doing those runs and leaving gaps open for me. He’s doing well and we’re enjoying it.”

Success at Witham made it three wins in a row in 2017 for Urchins, with 11 goals scored, and McFarlane’s men have now lost only once in 18 league outings, at promotion rivals Thurrock.

And McKenzie says the mood in the camp is good, with the title still not out of reach despite being 10 points behind leaders Maldon.

He added: “When you’re winning, all the boys like to be together and the atmosphere we’re getting is helping us move up.

“Hopefully teams around us start losing points and we can start progressing. At the moment we’re just winning and staying where we are.

“If we play like that, week in, week out, I think we can still go on and win it, with the squad we’ve got and the players on the bench.

“But we need teams above us to start losing so we can gain points. If not I’m happy to get in the play-offs and you never know, hopefully we’ll go on and win it.”

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