Hornchurch expect hard test at Tilbury

PUBLISHED: 15:00 20 January 2017

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane looks on (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane looks on (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

McFarlane hopes Urchins can maintain good form

Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane does not expect their clash with Ryman North rivals Tilbury to be easy tomorrow (Saturday).

The two sides battled to a goalless draw at Chadfields earlier in the season, but Urchins are enjoying a purple patch in front of goal at the moment.

Leon McKenzie’s hat-trick led them to a 5-1 success at Witham last weekend, making it three successive wins and 11 goals scored as they maintained their hold on fourth place.

McFarlane said: “They’re all going to be tough, but Tilbury are always tough. All the boys know one another, it’s always feisty.

“As long as we keep our discipline and keep doing what we’re doing it’s going to take a good side to beat us.

“To be fair, Leon didn’t have his greatest of games, he was huffing and puffing, but if someone was to say to me he is going to play like that for the rest of the year and get three goals a game, you’d take it all day long.

“You can’t argue with his goals this year and I think it’s taken him into the top two. Sometimes you don’t get the goals your performances deserve and sometimes you get the goals your performance doesn’t deserve, but I take my hat off to him.”

Abs Thompson and Kenzer Lee were also on target at Spa Road and McFarlane had special praise for McKenzie’s strike partner Ross Wall, who has impressed since returing to the club from rivals Thurrock.

He added: “Ross links it all together. I had him as a kid in the Capital League team and I thought he was the best finisher at the club at the time. “He’s gone away, done his apprenticeship and he’s just so clever. He should get more goals than he does, he knows that, but he creates so much.

“He does stuff that only football people notice. You might come to a game today if you’re a supporter and think ‘Ross Wall didn’t do a lot’ but as a manager you think ‘Cor blimey. He’s got us that free-kick, he’s got us that throw-in, he’s got that corner, just by being clever.”

Urchins face a wait to see if Junior Luke will be fit to face the Dockers this weekend, while McFarlane revealed the news on James Morrish was better than expected.

And the boss is also hoping to see the club’s all-time record goalscorer, George Purcell, back this term, adding: “It was a complete roll of the ankle for Junior, he’s touch and go for next Saturday.

“James wasn’t as bad as we thought. We originally thought 4-6 weeks but we’re now looking at 2 weeks max. George is going under the knife for keyhole surgery as the scans are not decisive enough. If there’s anything that needs to be done it will be done.

“Fingers crossed, I’m an optimist. We might have him back for the run-in which will be like having a new player who gets you goals, having said that I wouldn’t swap the front two at the moment.”

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