Jimmy McFarlane wants a clinical display from Hornchurch when they visit Romford rivals on opening day of Ryman North season

PUBLISHED: 16:00 22 July 2016

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

Urchins manager discusses recent matches with Met Police, Southend Manor and Redbridge plus looks ahead to Hythe Town

The fixtures for the new Ryman North campaign were announced last Friday and Hornchurch will make the trip to rivals Romford on the opening day of the season.

Urchins boss Jimmy McFarlane believes his side have a tough opening month, including their FA Cup draw, but is excited about the clashes coming up.

Boro beat the Bridge Avenue club twice last season, but Hornchurch will be looking to put that right on August 13.

“Romford took six points off us last year so we will be looking to overturn that this time around,” said McFarlane.

“Anyone you play on the opening day is going to give you a tough test, but we need to be a little bit more astute this time.

“We’re always going to score goals with the forward options we have, I just think we need to be more professional and clinical in both boxes.

“Last season we probably had the best record of anyone against teams in the top eight, but it is the other sides we struggle against and that’s something we want to improve on.”

Hornchurch stepped up their plans for the new campaign by playing three tough friendly fixtures over the last week.

Urchins drew 2-2 with Met Police of the Ryman Premier on Saturday after goals from David Knight and Ricky Freeman.

They then faced Essex Senior League outfit Southend Manor on Monday, but played out a goalless draw, before facing Redbridge on Wednesday night.

George Purcell struck just before half time for Urchins against the Motormen, before adding a second as they won 2-0.

McFarlane added: “We were excellent for 90 minutes at Met Police, not too great at Southend Manor, but always in control. Redbridge gave us a tough test, but we always looked like scoring.

“On Saturday the Met Police manager Jim Cooper said to me afterwards in the bar that we looked a lot fitter than them.

“It is nice to hear that because you don’t know how hard other teams are working until you face them. I think we are a fit team, but it does take somebody from the outside saying it for you to know it for sure.”

Hornchurch make the trip to Ryman South side Hythe Town tomorrow (Saturday), before visiting local rivals Grays Athletic, of the Ryman Premier, next Wednesday.

McFarlane added: “Hythe will be a tough test, they reached the play-offs last year, but I’m looking forward to it.”

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