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Hornchurch boss eyes plum tie, but Regent test is first!

PUBLISHED: 14:00 09 November 2018

Hornchurch players huddle before play (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch players huddle before play (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

The Bridge Avenue club travel to Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday looking to progress into the next round of the FA Trophy

Jimmy McFarlane has made it clear a number of times how he feels about National League clubs competing in the FA Trophy – but he wants to try and use it to Hornchurch’s benefit this season.

The Urchins boss believes it is unfair for full-time teams to be able to compete in a tournament which is meant to be mainly for semi-professional sides.

Hornchurch will visit Bostik Premier rivals Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday and if they can progress, they will be one win away from the first round and a chance to face some of the biggest clubs in non-league.

McFarlane said: “It’s an unfair competition in my eyes because a team like Leyton Orient are a full-time football club and they are competing in an amateur cup and I stand by that.

“It is really hard for a side out of our division to have a run because National League clubs come into the competition in the first round.

“Obviously it is not a gimme for them, because no game is a gimme, but I do feel it is an unfair advantage.

“Although on the other hand, owners and committee members will look at it and want to draw one of the big National League clubs at home because of the revenue it may bring.

“The most important thing for us first of all is trying to win more games and trying to get back on track.”

Hornchurch picked up a win on Tuesday night to reach the last 16 of the Essex Senior Cup where they will entertain Great Wakering Rovers on or before December 8.

A morale-boosting 5-1 victory at home to Benfleet booked the Urchins a spot in the next round with George Purcell and Theo Fairweather-Johnson netting doubles each.

George Saunders’ cross in the 87th minute helped produce an own-goal to see Hornchurch end with a flourish and lift spirits ahead of Saturday’s clash.

McFarlane’s men visit Bostik Premier foes Regent for a second qualifying round tie where the winner will pocket £4,000.

Back on August 27, the clubs played out a 1-1 league draw at North Road, but both will be desperate for a win this time.

“The league is the bread and butter and what you aspire to do the best in, but this is a massive competition,” McFarlane said.

“It also takes the pressure away from league games, but we still have to win the tie and we want to have a good run.”

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