Jimmy McFarlane impressed with his Ryman North side Hornchurch and Essex Senior League outfit Ilford in pre-season friendly

PUBLISHED: 17:00 04 August 2016

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (pic; Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (pic; Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

©TGS Photo +44 8450 946026

Urchins won 2-0 at Cricklefields after Leon McKenzie netted a first half brace

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane was full of praise for opponents Ilford last night after watching his side defeat the Foxes 2-0.

Urchins were set to play Bishop’s Stortford at Bridge Avenue on Tuesday, but had to cancel the match due to problems with their pitch.

Essex Senior League outfit Ilford offered their services and two first-half goals from Leon McKenzie gave McFarlane’s team a two-goal victory.

The Ryman North boss was impressed with Allan Fenn’s men and pleased with the friendly fixture.

“Ilford are a decent side, I think Allan has done very well over there and I played the people that needed minutes,” said McFarlane.

“I left the likes of George Purcell and a few others at home because we have two games in two days so needed to use squad.

“We played well and there was not many negatives to come from it, much more positives in my opinion.

“Leon looked fit and sharp again after getting a little niggle and Ricky Freeman alongside him looked bright.”

McKenzie only played 21 minutes at Leatherhead on Saturday after working his way back from injury.

The Hornchurch forward certainly grabbed his opportunity with both hands at Cricklefields last night however.

Urchins went down 1-0 to Ryman Premier side Leatherhead at the weekend, but their manager was happy with the performance they put in.

“For 70 minutes on Saturday we were the better side and then we gave a sloppy goal away, but it isn’t about the result,” said McFarlane.

“The performance is the most important thing and apart from at Hythe Town, I have been really pleased.

“Leon got both goals last night. It was a shame he picked up a knee problem because in pre-season running he was flying. He was right at the front and then got a problem when we were training over West Ham on the 3G.”

McKenzie’s return to fitness is another boost for Urchins who will take on local rivals Billericay Town tomorrow (Friday).

It is Hornchurch’s final pre-season friendly of the summer before they kick-off their Ryman North campaign at Romford Saturday week.

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