Ryman North: Jimmy McFarlane praises Gary Henty ahead of Hornchurch’s clash with Tilbury
PUBLISHED: 13:00 31 January 2017
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Bridge Avenue boss discusses tonight’s derby fixture and the 2-0 victory over VCD Athletic last weekend
Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane has a lot of respect for Tilbury manager Gary Henty, but will put that to one side for 90 minutes tonight in the Ryman North.
Urchins host the Dockers at Bridge Avenue looking to earn a fifth consecutive victory which would see them leapfrog Thurrock and go third in the table.
The previous encounter back on November 5 finishing 0-0 and the points being shared, Hornchurch are gunning for their local rivals this evening.
McFarlane said: “Three of our last four meetings have finished as goalless draws, so hopefully we can excite the fans a bit tonight.
“I’ve sung Gary’s praises so many times in the past and he’s done a fantastic job at Tilbury and is a really top bloke.
“But at quarter to eight tonight there will be no sentiments from me and we just have to keep doing what we’re doing.”
Hornchurch’s form has been excellent for a long time, but over the last six weeks they’ve been sensational.
Urchins have won seven of their last eight matches with Leon McKenzie scoring 11 goals during that period.
“I hope it goes ahead. We have some heavy rain coming I believe, but you want the games to come thick and fast when you are in form,” said McFarlane.
“All of a sudden it is getting a bit exciting at the top now and squeaky bum time, so we all have something to play for.
“Our best form of the season has come at the right time and I was looking at all of our run-ins last night.
“Most of the other teams have to play each other, so ours looks a little bit easier, although I know not one game in this league is easy!”
Another goal from talisman McKenzie put Urchins on course for victory last weekend at VCD Athletic.
Hornchurch’s top goalscorer found the net in the 55th minute after Ross Wall opened the scoring four minutes after half time.
Wall, who moved back to Bridge Avenue from Thurrock in October, has been equally impressive in recent months.
McFarlane added: “We were comfortable on Saturday and if anything we were too comfortable in the first half.
“We didn’t get out of second gear, but after the break it was wave after wave of attacks and our forwards scored again.
“When you lose somebody of the calibre of George Purcell to injury you do panic about where the goals will come from.
“But Leon and Ross have really stepped up and been so consistent for us this season and over the last few months.”
Urchins also gave debuts to Teddy Nesbitt and Usman Adeniji at the Vickers and both caught the eye.
Nesbitt signed after being released by National League South outfit East Thurrock while Adeniji had been with division rivals Witham Town.
“The back four were excellent as always, but come half time Teddy and Usman were our two best players on the pitch,” said McFarlane.
“Both provided exactly what we wanted from them and sometimes that isn’t always the case with new signings.
“They will score goals for us and we just need to get a few more from different areas of the pitch.
“I believe Teddy got 15 for Billericay Town last season and Usman nearly scored on Saturday and in a few weeks time he’ll take that type of chance.”