McFarlane looks for Hornchurch momentum

PUBLISHED: 16:00 17 January 2017

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Urchins to face Bishop’s Stortford in friendly

Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane will look to give more members of his squad some valuable minutes in a friendly with National League South side Bishop’s Stortford tonight (Tuesday, 7.30pm).

Urchins made it three Ryman North wins in a row with a 5-1 success at Witham on Saturday, with Leon McKenzie helping himself to a hat-trick to make it 26 goals for the season.

Abs Thompson and Kenzer Lee were also on target at Spa Road and McFarlane paid tribute to their efforts, saying: “Abs is Abs. If you see some of the goals we’ve scored, I think Abs has got over 70 per cent of our assists.

“The one criticism I’ve had of him is he doesn’t take shots himself. He gets into really good areas then gets his head up and looks to pass it.

“He’s telling me he’s got five goals, but I think it’s four and what it did was it knocked the stuffing out of them a little bit.

“They were growing in confidence and it looked like it was going to be a bit nerve-wracking in the second half but that put them back in their place a little bit.

“I have to be very careful giving man of the matches, because they say I go for defenders, but I thought was Kenzer was ours.

“I thought Tobi (Coker), if he’d continued in the second half how he was in the first half I would’ve given it to him, but I thought Kenzer was excellent for 90 minutes and he topped it off with a great finish.

“He just does the right things. His decision making for a lad of 22 is just top drawer.”

The more experienced Gary Cohen, who turns 33 on Friday, came off the bench to play a late cameo at Witham, setting up McKenzie’s hat-trick goal with a superb run and cross.

And McFarlane admitted it was the best scored by his side, adding: “It’s funny with Gary. Every tackle he makes, I’ve got a standing joke with Colin (McBride), a bloke is left in a heap. They’re not fouls, he’s just really strong.

“Tackling is about technique and timing and he times it, he wins the tackle, races down the line and everything about it, it was the best goal of the game for me.

“The ball into the box was brilliant and the finish was brilliant. We’ve scored a few good goals lately but I’ll say it’s the best goal of this year, 2017!”

The win kept Hornchurch in fourth place, firmly in the hunt for promotion, and McFarlane wants to maintain momentum as the race for a place in the Premier Division heats up.

He added: “We had one cleared off the line and I thought young Tobi had an excellent debut, but overall I’m pleased and I’ll sleep well.

“We’re going in the right direction, but I’m hard to please. We’re going to play a friendly, not for the boys who have been playing every week but there’s some good players sitting on the bench who can’t get minutes and we’ve got boys training with us.

“All the boys who started, none of them will take part, but we never have a week off during the season!”

Admission to this evening’s match at Woodside Park is £3.

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