McFarlane: Hornchurch can’t slip up

PUBLISHED: 16:00 06 March 2015

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

Hornchurch manager Jim 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

Big battles coming up for Hornchurch over next few days

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane has warned his side must not taste defeat when they visit Witham Town tomorrow (Saturday).

Urchins are in the final relegation spot in the Ryman Premier, but trail Witham by just one point and have a game in hand over the Spa Road outfit.

A victory over their relegation rivals this weekend would take McFarlane’s team out of the bottom four and he admits it is the most important match they have played this campaign.

“Bury last week was one of the biggest games of the season, but this one becomes even bigger,” he said.

“They need something special to get out of the relegation zone whereas Witham are in pole position alongside us to get out of trouble.

“We do have a game in hand over them, but it is vitally important we don’t slip up this weekend.”

Witham’s form has dropped off in recent months as they have managed just one victory in 13 matches since the turn of the year.

Hornchurch, meanwhile, have slowly improved and given themselves a fighting chance of beating the drop.

Leatherhead beat them on Tuesday, but Saturday’s 4-1 success over Bury Town has boosted their spirits.

Urchins opened the scoring early in both of those fixtures and that will be the aim again tomorrow.

“We have started sharply in our last two games and we did against Concord Rangers as well and could have been ahead in that game,” added McFarlane.

“How we have started matches has been good, but we just need to learn to kill off teams and that seems hard to do when you’re down the bottom.”

Hornchurch also have a local derby to prepare for as they will hope to finally play their league encounter with Canvey Island at Bridge Avenue.

It has been postponed previously and McFarlane is praying that isn’t the case again on Tuesday.

“You don’t want games called off at this stage of the year because then you have to play three times in a week and I don’t think we have a big enough squad for that,” he said.

Although Urchins would love bragging rights over Canvey, McFarlane is more focused on their relegation battle.

He added: “I don’t think the rivalry even comes into it, we just need to treat every game like a six-pointer now.”

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