Ryman North: Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane not giving up on the title ahead of Norwich United showdown

PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 March 2017

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

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

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Urchins boss believes there will be plenty of twists and turns during final six games of the league campaign

Hornchurch may be 11 points behind Ryman North leaders Brightlingsea Regent, but boss Jimmy McFarlane hasn’t given up on the title just yet.

Urchins host in-form Norwich United tomorrow (Saturday) looking to put pressure on the two teams above them.

With six games left, it is a tall ask for Hornchurch to catch Regent, but McFarlane is not throwing in the towel.

He said: “I’m not giving up on the title to be fair and Brightlingsea have got to play fifth-placed Haringey Borough this Saturday.

“Then they face us on April 1 and Cheshunt on the final day. If they lose this weekend and everyone else wins it puts pressure on them, so it’s all to play for.

“Norwich have had a good run and there isn’t any easy game now and every one is a cup final, so that’s how we have got to treat it on Saturday.”

It was announced last weekend that Urchins captain Elliot Styles would be having a testimonial at the end of the season.

The Hornchurch skipper is approaching 500 games for the club and McFarlane is hoping they can have two reasons to celebrate.

Styles’ testimonial takes place on Friday May 12 and Urchins are aiming to be back in the Ryman Premier by then.

“It would be nice to have a double celebration on Elliot’s testimonial. We are having our presentation night on the same evening as well,” said McFarlane.

“Let’s hope we have plenty to celebrate and a good turn-out for Elliot because he has been a fantastic servant for the club.

“I have always sung his praises over the years. He does everything correctly and trains properly and I hope he gets the turn-out that his loyal service deserves.”

Despite Hornchurch dropping points last weekend at home to Wroxham, they remain third in the table.

Second-placed Maldon & Tiptree and Thurrock, who sit fourth, lost to teams near the bottom and the Urchins boss believes those results highlight how tough the Ryman North is.

“It does show how strong the league is and it is just about your team and you can’t worry about anybody else,” said McFarlane.

“You just have to make sure you keep picking up points and we have two really tough games coming up now, so we will have to go from there.”

A win this weekend would keep Hornchurch’s title challenge on course ahead of their April 1 showdown at North Road.

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