Urchins will hit form soon, insists boss after October slump
PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 November 2018
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Hornchurch were unbeaten before October 6, but have lost six times since and yet sit a respectable 13th in the Bostik Premier
Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane is confident his team will hit form again soon in the Bostik Premier after a difficult month.
Before the Urchins lost 1-0 at Hampton & Richmond Borough in the FA Cup third qualifying round on October 6, the Bridge Avenue club were still unbeaten in the 2018/19 campaign.
Yet since the narrow reverse away to the National League South outfit, Hornchurch have lost to Coggeshall Town, Corinthian-Casuals, Lewes, Tonbridge Angels and finally away to Bishop’s Stortford, by a 1-0 score, last weekend.
Last season’s Bostik North champions did thrash Ramsgate 6-0 in the FA Trophy two weeks ago and picked up a point at home to Merstham on October 30 before they were able to swat Benfleet aside 5-1 on Tuesday in the Essex Senior Cup, but the last five weeks have taken their toll on the squad.
McFarlane said: “It has been a hard slog to get to where we are in the league because we are never naming the same side twice, we are never naming the same back four twice and we are never name the same midfield twice.
“We have no momentum because of that and it is really hard to pick up momentum, but I have never been one to feel sorry for myself and we have worked on loads of stuff in training.
“We have seen little glimmers of what we have been working on and little glimmers of our passing game, but we haven’t had our passing game all season.
“I think at Stortford we saw little glimmers and it will come, I am positive it will come for us soon.”
Hornchurch were mightily unlucky not to claim at least a point in Hertfordshire after George Purcell went close on a couple of occasions while Sean Marks missed a great headed chance.
Leon McKenzie had a goal ruled out too and hit the crossbar in the first half while Jay Porter was denied by Calum Kitscha late on.
In the end, an unfortunately own-goal by Connor Hogan in the 42nd minute, after Callum Chafer had brilliantly saved Ryan Charles’ cross-cum-shot, was the different between the two evenly matched clubs.
“We have played Enfield Town, who are a very good side, and Tonbridge and Dorking Wanderers, but apart from Enfield, no one has outplayed us,” McFarlane noted. “Enfield are the best team we have played, but nothing frightens us - apart from injuries!”
On the fitness front, Jordan Clark could return for Hornchurch this weekend when they visit Brightlingsea Regent in the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy, but captain Nathan Cooper is still out.
Injuries have certainly contributed towards Urchins’ October slump, but the positive is they are still 13th in the table and only eight points off Lewes, who occupy the final spot in the play-offs – fifth position.
Hornchurch are also five points above the relegation zone and if they can get on a roll again soon, they will be well placed to enjoy an excellent second half of the season.