Ryman North: Elliot Styles content with Hornchurch's start, but knows they can do even better
PUBLISHED: 13:00 19 August 2016
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Urchins captain happy to be undefeated after first week of season
Hornchurch skipper Elliot Styles is pleased the Bridge Avenue club have started the season with four points from their first two games, but knows there is still room for improvement.
Urchins opened the Ryman North season with a 0-0 draw at Romford at the weekend, before following that up with a 3-2 success against Haringey Borough at home on Tuesday.
It is the first time in five seasons, though, that Hornchurch have not lost one of their opening two games, which Styles believes offers reasons for optimism.
“It’s always tough at the start of a season, but we have one point more at this stage than we did last season,” said the Urchins skipper.
“In recent seasons, we’ve always seemed to have lost one of our first two, so it’s good that we haven’t lost any so far.”
Hornchurch did enough to perhaps earn a derby win against Romford, but were unable to find what would have been a crucial goal.
Styles knows that left the club thinking about what might have been, but he says Urchins must get used to the opposition raising their game when they play them.
“We’re are own biggest critics and we know we could have beaten Romford,” added Styles.
“When teams play against us, they raise their game because we’re a big club. We’ve done that in the past when we’ve been in higher leagues.
“A point, though, is better than nothing.”
Styles scored Hornchurch’s first goal of the season on Tuesday night when putting the Bridge Avenue side in front against Haringey.
However, the visitors hit back twice to take the lead, before Styles’ centre-back partner Nathan Cooper levelled things up.
Jimmy McFarlane’s men appeared to be heading for another draw, but with five minutes left, Styles netted the winner for his first-ever brace.
And though not usually known for his prolific streak, the defender is happy to lead the club’s scoring charts early in the season.
“Scoring is not my specialty, but Jim, wants us all to chip in and take the pressure off our strikers this season,” he added.
“This season, we all have to do our job and a little bit more, so if we all have that same attitude, we can do well.”
After missing out on promtoion to the Ryman Premier following a 3-1 defeat in the play-off final in May, boss McFarlane strengthened his squad in the summer.
New boys George Woodward, JJ Da Cruz and Kenzer Lee all started for Urchins in their success against Borough.
And Styles believes all of the new faces are settling in well and are of the quality to help Urchins achieve promotion this year.
“It’s nice to have fresh blood in the squad because it reminds us as
players that we have to perform and it keeps you on your toes,” he said.
“Pre-season has been fantastic for us, we seem a lot more professional this season and those who have come in have made their mark.
“Even those that have stayed from last year, they’ve shown they want to go up by winning the title.”