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Urchins relegated but Jim keen to fix things

PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 April 2015

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

Bridge Avenue boss already planning for next year in the Ryman North

George Purcell put Hornchurch ahead against Peacehaven & Telscombe (pic: TGSPHOTO)George Purcell put Hornchurch ahead against Peacehaven & Telscombe (pic: TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch’s relegation to Ryman North was confirmed last weekend, but manager Jimmy McFarlane is hoping to get the club back up at the first time of asking.

A 1-1 draw with Peacehaven & Telscombe at Bridge Avenue on Saturday, despite another George Purcell goal, was not enough to save Urchins, who lost a six-goal thriller with Hendon on Monday to compound their misery.

But McFarlane has been given the green light to continue as manager and is hopeful of getting the club promoted next year.

“All year the chairman and the directors have been top drawer and they know how much it hurts me,” said McFarlane.

Hornchurch players contemplate relegation from the Ryman Premier Division (pic: Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO)Hornchurch players contemplate relegation from the Ryman Premier Division (pic: Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO)

“They have been really supportive and I think I owe it to them to stay and try to get the club back up straight away.

“The players I have spoken to have all been positive about staying. “No-one has turned around and said I don’t want to play in that league. Perhaps they feel like I do; that they owe it to the club to get them back in the Ryman Premier.

“I won’t take the whole squad to the Ryman North, but the ones I want will be good enough to win the league. Having said that, it won’t be easy because it is a tough division to get out of, like the Premier.”

Hornchurch’s first focus is to try and end their campaign on a high with a win at play-off hopefuls Met Police tomorrow (Saturday).

Jimmy McFarlane is consoled at the final whistle after Hornchurch were relegated (pic: Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO)Jimmy McFarlane is consoled at the final whistle after Hornchurch were relegated (pic: Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO)

McFarlane praised his opposite number Jimmy Cooper for the job he has done in charge of the Met.

He hopes his team perform how they did against Hendon on Monday, where another Purcell goal alongside a Tobi Joseph strike came in a 4-2 defeat.

“If the performance is the same as Monday, then we will have a chance,” added McFarlane.

“Jimmy is a good experienced manager and he has been around for years, so we know it will be tough. I am just looking for a good performance and hopefully we can cut out our errors.”

George Purcell (left) was on target again for Hornchurch against Hendon (pic: Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO)George Purcell (left) was on target again for Hornchurch against Hendon (pic: Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO)

It has been errors that have cost Urchins their place in the Ryman Premier for the 2015/16 season, but their fate may have been confirmed a lot sooner had it not been for Purcell.

His 26 goals have been crucial, and McFarlane harbours some hope he may stay next year.

“George hasn’t dismissed anything. He is open to sitting down and talking,” he added.

“Last year he had every single club in the Ryman Premier after him and a few local ones in the Conference South, but he showed loyalty and stayed.

“I’m hoping because he enjoys it here, it will be enough to keep him again.”


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