Ryman North: Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane issues Witham warning to squad before Bridge Avenue fixture

PUBLISHED: 14:00 13 December 2016

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane looks on (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane looks on (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Urchins are four points off the play-off positions with games in hand over most of their rivals for the top five

Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane has challenged his team to replicate Saturday’s 4-0 win over Ware in the Ryman North tonight when Witham Town visit Bridge Avenue.

Urchins have struggled for consistency during large parts of the campaign, though are unbeaten in their last 10 matches in the division.

It only places Hornchurch 10th in the table, yet a victory this evening could see them close in on the play-off positions.

“Consistency has been our problem all season so we have to give it a real push now if we want to go up,” said McFarlane.

“We need to make sure we take Saturday’s performance into Tuesday’s match with Witham.

“If we can manage to do that then we need to repeat it again this weekend when we travel to Wroxham.

“Witham have scored 40 goals this season which is no mean feat and I’m pretty sure they have let in the same amount.

“You can’t take anybody lightly in this division so I definitely won’t be taking them for granted.”

Tonight’s clash between Hornchurch and Witham is the first between the two clubs this season.

Urchins have already faced Maldon & Tiptree twice this campaign as well as Haringey Borough and Thamesmead Town.

McFarlane conceded it is strange and discussed some of the midweek trips Hornchurch have had to make as well.

He added: “It is funny because we have played the likes of Thamesmead Town and Haringey Borough twice and not Witham yet.

“The fixture list always baffles me and I don’t know how we can travel to Norwich United on a Tuesday night either.

“Now I’m getting older I find I keep repeating myself, but I think people forget these lads are only semi-professionals.”

Ross Wall is set to feature again for Hornchurch this evening after making his 100th appearance for the club on Saturday.

The former Thurrock forward netted in the 4-0 triumph over Ware – his 24th goal in two spells with Urchins.

McFarlane said: “Ross has been a great addition and he gives us something else. With Leon McKenzie you know he’ll win the headers.

“George Purcell gives us that guile and I feel Ross brings a bit of intelligence around the penalty area.

“He will be the first person to admit he should be scoring more and missed a great chance on Saturday.

“I had him as a kid in the Capital League when I first started at Hornchurch and I knew then what a good player he could be.

“To be perfectly honest he has surpassed what I expected of him and is one of those players that I know I could take up with me if we got promoted because he has that quality.”

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