Ryman North: Hornchurch hoping weather warms up for Magpies!

PUBLISHED: 15:00 02 December 2016

Maldon clear a Hornchurch attack (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Maldon clear a Hornchurch attack (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Jimmy McFarlane delighted to have Junior Luke back at Bridge Avenue and excited about tie with AFC Sudbury

Jimmy McFarlane is pleased the games continue to come thick and fast for his Hornchurch team after Tuesday’s Ryman North encounter with Bury Town at Bridge Avenue was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Urchins will hope the weather can stay fair when they visit Dereham Town tomorrow (Saturday), looking to extend their current eight-match unbeaten run in the division.

After their lengthy trip to Norfolk this weekend, Hornchurch will host Ryman Premier Division outfit Sudbury in the league cup third round on Tuesday.

Mcfarlane said: “It is starting to warm up, according to the forecast. It will be eight or nine degrees by Saturday so fingers-crossed the match shouldn’t be in any doubt.

“Tuesday’s a tough game. Sudbury went to Billericay Town this week and won, so they’ve strengthened their side from last year.

“We’ll take on anyone right now and want the matches to come thick and fast because we are doing okay, so long may that continue.”

Hornchurch’s last league defeat was at Soham Town Rangers on October 15, but they have drawn five times since that period, including on Saturday at home to leaders Maldon & Tiptree.

It looked like Urchins were set for a victory when George Purcell smashed home in the first half, but Rhys Henry equalised for the visitors five minutes from time.

McFarlane added: “We were by far the better side on Saturday. Maldon had more possession than us, but our goalkeeper Sam Mott didn’t have a save to make.

“We hit the woodwork and their goalkeeper was man of the match. I would have taken a point against the league leaders beforehand, but I was frustrated in the end that we dropped another two points.

“It is about 10 points overall we have dropped in November, although on the positive side we are eight games undefeated.”

Urchins fans might not have seen a win on Saturday, but they did witness Junior Luke back in a Hornchurch shirt once again after the former Billericay Town winger rejoined the Bridge Avenue club having decided to leave Canvey Island.

Luke was outstanding at times for Hornchurch last season, in a variety of positions, but having departed in the summer to join the Blues before switching to the Islanders last month, he is back with McFarlane’s men.

“I spoke to him before he went to Canvey from Billericay and we just couldn’t get something going because I had too many players wrapped around me,” said McFarlane.

“Junior contacted me when he went to Canvey and said he wasn’t happy and thankfully they let him go.

“We put a seven-day notice in and they let him leave a bit earlier and he can play either side at full-back or in midfield if needed,

“He gives you so much quality, he has pace and power and is good in the air. He can throw the ball a mile too, so it is terrific to have him back.”

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