Up-and-down week for McFarlane’s Hornchurch
PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 March 2015
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Urchins lost to Witham but beat Canvey Island
Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane saw his side turn in a Jekyll and Hyde display in the Ryman Premier Division over the past week.
Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Witham Town left the boss disappoitned and he claimed only a couple of players could “walk off with any credit”.
But McFarlane was full of praise for his side following their 2-0 midweek win over Canvey Island, in which they spent the majority of the match a man down.
“We’ve had our best peformance of the season and our worst performance of the season in our last two games,” said McFarlane after victory over the Gulls.
“We were awful against Witham. I told the boys we needed a result and did I get one!
“When you’ve had a performance as bad as the result, like we had against Witham, you’re looking to bounce back as quickly as possible.
“You get a feeling as a manager when you’re going to get a peformance. Everything against Canvey pointed to that. Never did I think it was going to be as good as it was.”
The Bridge Avenue side took the lead against Canvey through leading scorer George Purcell before goalkeeper Sam Mott was given his marching orders for a professional foul with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
Defender and captain Elliot Styles took over in goal, but he was rarely tested before Martin Tuohy sealed the win with a late penalty, for which John Easterford saw red.
McFarlane was delighted to see his team beat the Gulls, despite the red card, adding: “To lose your keeper and have to put Elliot in goal, we had to dig in. I’m chuffed to bits.”
The Hornchurch manager’s mood after the Canvey match was a far cry from how he felt after the Witham defeat, when Urchins had fallen behind in the first half against their fellow strugglers.
The visitors pulled level with a Purcell penalty, with Witham having a man sent off for the foul that led to the spot-kick, but the home side scored a winner five minutes from time.
McFarlane added: “It was without a shadow of a doubt our worst performance of the season.
“They were hungrier than us and they wanted it more. You should be looking for two or three that weren’t at their best, not two or three that deserve credit.”
McFarlane will be hoping his side can replicate their performance against Canvey in their next game at home to Dulwich Hamlet.
When the sides met earlier in the season Hornchruch succumbed to a 2-0 loss.
The Urchins manager feels his team are capable of anything in the rematch if they are in the correct frame of mind.
“As long as we approach it in the right manner we can do well. Dulwich are a good side, the best footballing side in the league.” said McFarlane.
“They might struggle to play their style of game on our pitch, but that’s their problem. We have to approach it and apply ourselves like we did against Canvey Island.”
Something that will surely boost the Bridge Avenue club’s survival hopes is the return of Reece Beckles-Richards on loan from Woking.
The striker had a spell with Hornchurch earlier in the season and McFarlane is hoping he can have as similar an impact as he did first time around.
“He gives us something different. He’s happy to play on the shoulders of defenders. Hopefully he’ll score a few goals for us,” added McFarlane.
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