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Hornchurch blog: Back to winning ways

PUBLISHED: 13:30 28 March 2017

Happy Hornchurch fans sheild their eyes during the win over Norwich United (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Happy Hornchurch fans sheild their eyes during the win over Norwich United (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

The latest news from the Hornchurch Supporters’ Association

Martin Tuohy of Hornchurch puts pressure on a Norwich United rival (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo) Martin Tuohy of Hornchurch puts pressure on a Norwich United rival (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

After a disappointing result against Wroxham, we got back on the winning trail with a hard-earned two goal win over another team from East Anglia, Norwich United.

Hornchurch were without Gary Cohen and Nathan Cooper, both recovering from injuries picked up against Cheshunt two weeks earlier. And we were also missing our leading scorer, Leon McKenzie, who was sidelined with a chest infection.

It could not get any worse, or so we thought as Abs Thompson went down with a leg injury after only 15 minutes and had to go off. We were now without four key players. Ozzie Adeniji came on and things began to get better, as Norwich lost their early momentum, and at last Hornchurch began to look like a side chasing the play-offs.

The Planters keeper made three good saves to keep it goalless in the first half. Sam Mott had little to do at the other end as our defence effectively prevented the lively Norwich forwards from getting a shot on target.

Usman Adeniji of Hornchurch came on as an early substitute against Norwich United (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo) Usman Adeniji of Hornchurch came on as an early substitute against Norwich United (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

And it was Mott, more often associated with keeping the ball out of the net, who was very much involved in creating both of our goals. The first came about when the referee pulled the play back after a United forward had needlessly obstructed Mott as he went to clear a ball. The Urchins keeper sent the resulting indirect free kick deep upfield, where it was played out to Adeniji, who set off along the right and neatly centred for Martin Tuohy to head home.

A few minutes later, it was Mott again who created the second goal, with a long free kick up the field. The ball was headed down to Tuohy, who promptly fired in his second goal of the match.

Tuohy has now scored four times since rejoining the Urchins, and he has moved into fourth place in the all-time scorers with 83 Hornchurch goals to his credit.

While the main action takes place on the field, there is plenty going on elsewhere as Hornchurch cannot afford to run a deficit budget and the supporters are playing their part in the financial stakes. We have raised £1,500 in sponsorship this season, and all players are now sponsored. We also have a 59 Club, which presented the football club with a cheque for £1,461 last week.

Hornchurch are pleased to announce that former Arsenal and England player Paul Merson shall be coming to the Bridge on April 7. Tickets for this event are still available, though not many are left, details can be found on our web site.

Our Youth Alliance team, with three matches left to play, are eight points clear of their nearest challengers, Dagenham & Redbridge. The crunch match took place last Friday, when they beat the Daggers by three goals to one. This Wednesday, at 2pm, they are at home to Boreham Wood, who are at the wrong end of the table. A win will ensure that they are champions.

Out next first team match is away to champions elect, Brightlingsea Regent. We drew 2-2 when we met them in September, our goals coming from Ricky Freeman and Ayrton Coley, both of whom have now left. Our team that day was markedly different to the one that will take the field this week, as three other players have also moved elsewhere - David Knight to Bowers & Pitsea, James Morrish to Whitstable Town, and JJ Da Cruz to Phoenix Sports - and Paul Goodacre is currently missing with a long-term injury.

Brightlingsea were in mid-table when they lost to Dereham in their final match of 2016, but since then they have had a remarkable run which has taken them to the top of the table. They have won fifteen, drawn two, and have only lost once, in their last eighteen matches.

We anticipate a very good away following to this match, where we hope to go one better than we did last season, when Tobi Joseph headed our equaliser in stoppage time. We are hoping that Nathan Cooper will be available for selection, and of course George Purcell, who is slowly coming back from injury.

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