Urchins up for big tests against local rivals

PUBLISHED: 15:00 20 February 2015

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

Hornchurch manager Jim 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

Concord and Canvey come to Bridge Avenue this week

Kieran Bishop of Hornchurch on the attack against Bognor (pic: Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO)Kieran Bishop of Hornchurch on the attack against Bognor (pic: Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch host two of their Essex rivals this week in matches manager Jimmy McFarlane is describing as cup finals as they aim to finish the season with success.

Canvey Island come to Bridge Avenue tomorrow (Saturday) for a crucial fixture in the Ryman Premier, before fellow Islanders Concord Rangers visit on Tuesday to decide who reaches the Essex Senior Cup final.

Danny Johnson of Hornchurch challenges for the ball against Bognor (pic: Mark Hodsman/TGSPHOTO)Danny Johnson of Hornchurch challenges for the ball against Bognor (pic: Mark Hodsman/TGSPHOTO)

Both matches are massive for Urchins, but after dropping into the bottom four last weekend, they’ll be especially keen to beat the Gulls.

“You look at where we are now compared to where we were three months ago and we are in a much healthier position,” McFarlane said.

Concord Rangers manager Danny Cowley (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).Concord Rangers manager Danny Cowley (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).

“Three months ago it was in everyone else’s hands, but now it is in our own hands again. Every game is a cup final now and they are all massive.

“We have got to keep positive. I am staying positive and I know we will get out of it.”

Another 3-0 victory against Canvey, like they achieved back in October, would be a welcome result, but McFarlane knows Canvey boss Danny Heale won’t want a repeat of that.

He added: “We were excellent for 90 minutes and it was probably our best performance of the season.

“I like Danny, I have a lot of time for him and I am sure he won’t want to have another afternoon like that.

“It will probably be our biggest gate of the season as well because they are always a well supported club and I’m looking forward to it.”

After Canvey, Urchins welcome Concord to Bridge Avenue in another match McFarlane is relishing.

“It is another massive game and there is a bit of rivalry between us from their Ryman Premier days,” he added.

“Every single game we have played against them was tough. They are a good side and I watched them at Dagenham the other week so we have 16 really tough games coming up and I pray to God we have 17 because we will qualify for the final on Tuesday.”

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