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McFarlane would watch Hornchurch against Thurrock anyway!

PUBLISHED: 14:00 01 December 2015

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 8450 946026

Bridge Avenue boss admits he would go to the big clash in the Ryman North anyway and looks back on 4-1 win over Haringey

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane admits he would watch tonight’s match at Thurrock in the Ryman North if he wasn’t involved in it, such is the quality of the two teams on show.

Urchins make the short trip to Ship Lane to play Fleet in a clash that sees two sides in the play-offs go head-to-head.

McFarlane’s men have scored 50 times in 21 league games this season and sit second in the table, just five points behind leaders Cray Wanderers.

Thurrock are only two spots behind Hornchurch in fourth with 47 goals in their 19 games in the division and it should be a wonderful encounter at Ship Lane.

“To be brutally honest I have never gone anywhere, even in the Ryman Premier, and expected to lose,” said McFarlane.

“I think if you go somewhere with that frame of mind it can affect the players and be a negative impact on them. I have never played 4-5-1 for instance looking to get a draw at this level.

“I did a couple of times in the Conference South, but in the Ryman Premier and North it is all about defences and we have a good one as do Thurrock.

“We both have excellent strikers as well so it is a game I would watch if I wasn’t managing in it.”

The only worry when two strong teams face each other is that they could cancel one another out and McFarlane conceded it could occur at Ship Lane.

He is looking forward to watching his side play at his former stomping ground, though, and boasts a good record against Fleet.

“I think if I was to pick my top five for the end of the season I would 100 per cent have Thurrock in it. I have watched them a couple of times and they are a really good side, but so are we,” added McFarlane.

“The only thing is sometimes in these clashes, as we have seen in Arsenal and Manchester United games over the years, is that both teams cancel each other out. But I think the bare minimum both myself and Mark Stimson will want from the match is that we don’t lose.

“Ship Lane is probably the best pitch in the league. We have had a little bit of rain as well, which will make it even better, I just hope from a spectacle point of view that the wind goes down a bit because that is the only thing that can ruin it.”

Hornchurch come into the contest following a 4-1 win over Haringey Borough last weekend in the Ryman North at Bridge Avenue.

A George Purcell hat-trick alongside an Abs Thompson strike earned Urchins three points in front of 160 people in attendance.

McFarlane praised his top goalscorer, who has now scored 19 times in the division already this season.

“George has had a little lull of late and I said to him don’t worry about it, you will score soon and he admitted he wasn’t concerned,” added the Hornchurch boss.

“He is working really hard and when you do that you get your rewards and I am sure it won’t be the last time he gets a hat-trick this season.

“We hadn’t made a lot of chances in our two games before that so I changed it around and the correct score probably should have been 8-3.

“I changed our formation, it is not something I would do against the top teams, but against a lower side we have to take advantage of the position they are in and we did.”

Hornchurch will now hope to demonstrate their title credentials again this evening at Thurrock.

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