Ryman North: Jimmy McFarlane wants early gift from Hornchurch squad against Aveley this evening
PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 December 2016
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The Millers make trip to Bridge Avenue in good form, but a win for Urchins would put them in the top five for Christmas
Hornchurch welcome Aveley to Bridge Avenue for their penultimate Ryman North match of the year this evening (Friday) and boss Jimmy McFarlane knows he will get a strong performance from his team.
The Millers are third in the table and have lost just six times in 26 league games this season, but a win for Urchins in tonight’s 8pm kick-off will close the gap between the clubs to just two points.
McFarlane is boosted by being able to select Junior Luke against his old club, despite his red card for two bookable offences at Wroxham.
“Junior is okay for Aveley, but won’t play against Brentwood Town on New Year’s Eve,” he said.
“The rules regarding suspension changed at the start of the season. It used to be that the ban wouldn’t kick in for two weeks, but now it’s only one week, so regardless, he will play for us tonight.
“Aveley have done really well, but I’m more worried about the game against Brentwood. It is matches against teams near the bottom that we struggle in, so I probably won’t sleep too well next Friday.”
Hornchurch did claim a 1-0 win at Mill Field in the FA Cup back in August, but will face a very different Millers squad this time around.
Justin Gardner was manager of Aveley that day, but departed at the start of October, despite the club sitting third in the table.
Terry Spillane has since taken over and much of the squad has changed, yet Hornchurch’s rivals are only eight points off top spot.
“Justin did a phenomenal job at Aveley and I’m not sure anybody will ever know what happened there,” said McFarlane.
“Terry has come in, picked up the mantle and kicked them on. They’ve been doing really well.
“I speak quite a bit with Justin and what happened there, I’m not sure, but Terry has done a good job since being appointed.”
McFarlane has spoken numerous times about wanting Hornchurch to be in the play-off positions by Christmas time.
A win this evening would mean they achieve that until Boxing Day at least and he added: “As long as we win then I’ll be content. I’m not happy with where we are in the table.
“It is what it is and circumstances haven’t helped, but we’re 12 unbeaten in the league, although we do need to turn a few more draws into wins.”