Tuohy blow for Hornchurch as boss McFarlane prepares for Lowestoft and Billericay

PUBLISHED: 13:00 23 August 2013

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane  and recent addition to coaching staff Grant Gordon (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane and recent addition to coaching staff Grant Gordon (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Hornchurch will be without star striker Martin Tuohy for eight weeks and boss Jimmy McFarlane insists it’s a hammer blow.

Tuohy picked up a knee injury in pre-season against Histon and scans finally revealed the extent of the damage as the former Ryman Golden Boot winner prepares for two months on the sidelines.

McFarlane knows his loss is a setback in their bid to go straight back up to the Conference South. He said: “Martin has been one of the most prolific goalscorers in this division for some time and now we know his injury is a long term one.

“In my eyes there’s no-one better in this division than Martin, unfortunately we knew it could be a bad one.”

Whether the Urchins boss can bring in a replacement remains to be seen, but he admits he will have to be extra nice to chairman Colin McBride.

“I’ll keep a look out and if one comes available I will have to offer Colin a big bar of chocolate!” he added.

“Seriously, I’m a very lucky manager to have someone like him as chairman. He’s been a manager and knows what it’s like from my side. Some others may be more business-orientated and look at it that way before signing a player. Colin can see the benefit a certain player will have on the squad.”

Urchins have a tough Bank Holiday ahead of them as much-fancied Lowestoft Town visit Bridge Avenue tomorrow (Saturday), before a trip to near neighbours Billericay on Monday.

And in Grant Gordon, who McFarlane recently added to his management team, the club have someone with connections with Billericay.

Gordon is a major shareholder at the Blues after taking over the club last season.

Work commitments meant he stepped down from the chairman’s role, but he has now joined Hornchurch.

McFarlane played down the help and advice they would get from Gordon on Monday’s opponents, though, saying: “Grant’s someone I know very well and has a lot of experience at this level.

“He’s a good addition to the coaching team. He’s still a major shareholder there, but they’ve changed a lot of their side so how much he knows is very little.”

Following Saturday’s 6-1 thumping of Cray, the Urchins picked up a point against promotion rivals Bury at home on Tueday after a goalless draw.

And although they could not find a winner in the last 10 minutes, when the visitors were down to 10 men, McFarlane was content with the effort with both Carl Rook and Phil Sharkey out injured.

“I can’t complain about a point against one of the top teams in the league,” he added.

“We had no fit subs on the bench, hence I didn’t make any changes. There were two young boys there who aren’t quite ready for this standard of football yet.Taking that into account the point is a good one for us.”

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