Hornchurch face ‘toughest game’

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 August 2013

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Boss McFarlane ready for derby battle

Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane expects a tough Essex derby with Ryman Premier Division rivals Billericay today.

Having seen his side claim a 2-1 win over Lowestoft on Saturday, thanks to George Purcell’s late strike, McFarlane was in great spirits heading into the Bank Holiday.

And he discussed the possibility of having two new players in the squad – himself and coach Grant Gordon!

He said: “Our toughest game of the season is on Monday. Will I make changes? I don’t know. Injuries will dictate that.

“It all depends on how Grant (Gordon) feels. If he stays in over the weekend he’ll start at full-back and I’ll put myself in too!

“There were not many people that didn’t come out with any credit [against Lowestoft].

“I’ll get a report back from Billericay and we’ll see how they line up.”

Hornchurch’s scouts would not have learnt anything new at the weekend as Billericay’s scheduled match with Canvey was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, as heavy rain battered the county.

The Essex neighbours are no strangers, though, having faced off four times last season – twice in the Conference South and in two cup competitions.

Hornchurch took three points from the league fixture at Bridge Avenue and won on penalties in the Essex Senior Cup, while Billericay were victorious in the FA Cup clash, while their league meeting at New Lodge ended in a 1-1 draw.

Urchins are boosted by the return of two key players in Tambeson Eyong, who has completed a suspension, and Phil Starkey, who was on the bench on Saturday and should be fit enough to start.

McFarlane added: “Fingers crossed, I am hoping to have Phil Starkey back.

“Tambeson Eyong is available now, he served his five-match ban for what he did against Billericay, so the best match for him to come back is against Billericay.”

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