Ryman North: Jimmy McFarlane to take time to think after Hornchurch lose out in play-offs

PUBLISHED: 16:00 28 April 2017

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

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

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Urchins boss looking forward to a break from football after defeat at Thurrock

Despair for Alex Bentley of Hornchurch at the final whistle of their Ryman North play-off semi-final at Thurrock (pic Gavin Ellis/TGSPhoto)Despair for Alex Bentley of Hornchurch at the final whistle of their Ryman North play-off semi-final at Thurrock (pic Gavin Ellis/TGSPhoto)

After watching Hornchurch’s season come to an end in the Ryman North play-off semi-finals, manager Jimmy McFarlane admitted his team had underachieved this season.

A 1-0 loss away to Thurrock on Wednesday night saw Urchins’ hopes of a return to the Ryman Premier end for another season.

Remi Sutton’s early goal for the Fleet proved the difference at Ship Lane as the Bridge Avenue club failed to impress.

Having fallen just short last season in the play-off final at Harlow, McFarlane would have desperately wanted to go one better this term.

But after seeing Hornchurch’s promotion dream die at Thurrock, the manager said this campaign has been a disappointment.

“I need to go away and have a long, hard think because we have under-achieved. Us, me and everyone connected in that changing room has underachieved,” said McFarlane.

“I’ll beat myself up about it, but I wonder how many of the players will, and I told them that.

“This will ruin my whole next few weeks, my family life and my work life, because that’s how much it hurts.”

As for what the thinking time he needs entails, McFarlane says it is not to consider his position and that he will remain in charge next term.

However, the Hornchurch boss did state that he needs time to consider what is needed in his squad to win promotion next year.

After coming up short in the last two seasons, the Ryman North looks set to be even more competitive next season with the addition of Canvey Island and Grays Athletic following relegation from the Premier.

And McFarlane knows the next few weeks will have to be time well spent, with the Hornchurch boss keen to ensure his side are in good shape to start the season.

“I’ll use the time to think about what way to go forward, what I need to go forward and what we lacked this year,” he added.

“I stood there against Thurrock and thought we needed this and needed that.

“It’s a hard decision and I brought some players in for the run-in; some worked, some didn’t, but that’s my job as a manager to do it.

“I need to go away from football for a couple of weeks, clear my head and talk normally to my wife.”

As for that defeat to Thurrock, the manner of the loss was perhaps more galling than the result itself as Hornchurch faltered on the big stage.

Sutton’s goal came early, giving Urchins enough time to muster a response, but they rarely threatened the Fleet defence.

And McFarlane could not hide his disappointment at how his team fared after watching their promotion ambitions come to an end in the play-offs for the second consecutive season.

“I have no complaints, Thurrock were miles better than us. All the boys are saying we should have had a penalty at the end for a foul on Martin Tuohy, but Thurrock were keener than us all night long,” added the Hornchurch boss.

“Our two centre-backs are as fit as fiddles, but went down with cramp and that’s down to how hard Thurrock made us work.

“Every element in football, all the hard work, Thurrock were better than us, so fair play to them. The best team won.”

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