Ryman North: Hornchurch hope history repeats itself in play-off semi-final at Thurrock

PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:24 26 April 2017

Jimmy McFarlane, manager of Hornchurch (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Jimmy McFarlane, manager of Hornchurch (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Urchins sunk Fleet away from home at same stage last season and are desperate for more of the same

There may be a case of déjà vu for Hornchurch on Wednesday as they travel to Thurrock for the Ryman North play-off semi-finals for the second year in a row.

Urchins won 2-0 at Ship Lane at this stage last season with goals from Junior Luke and George Purcell, and will hope for a similar result this time around.

But manager Jimmy McFarlane is taking nothing for granted and says the clash with the Fleet could come down to the tightest of margins.

“I thought the extra experience we had helped us against Thurrock last year, but they’ve added that this season and I think both teams are stronger,” he said.

“I don’t think the experience of the two teams will be as telling this time, it will be down to who turns up on the night.

“We both have players who have played in play-offs at this level or higher, so I expect it to be a more even game this time.”

Hornchurch head into the game off the back of a 4-1 loss at home to Bowers & Pitsea on Saturday in which Leon McKenzie scored the hosts’ only goal.

However, with the play-offs in mind, Urchins opted to rest several players who had knocks, but McFarlane is still unsure whether they will be fit in time to face the Fleet.

“I’ll see if those we left out Saturday are fit enough, but only time will tell,” added the Hornchurch boss.

“We have a big squad and a good squad, so even when I left players out on Saturday it didn’t weaken us; we have the quality to cope.”

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