Two-goal Tuohy lifts Hornchurch
PUBLISHED: 09:57 26 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:37 30 March 2017
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Hornchurch 2 Norwich United 0
Hornchurch v Norwich United
Alex Bentley of Hornchurch and Adam Hipperson of Norwich United challenge for the ball (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)
Cassimiro Datocompol of Norwich United and Jed Chouman of Hornchurch challenge for the ball (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)
Teddy Nesbitt of Hornchurch heads clear against Norwich United (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)
Abs Seymour attacks for Hornchurch against Norwich United (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)
An early injury to Abs Thompson of Hornchurch sees him leave the pitch (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)
Ross Wall of Hornchurch is sent tumbling by a challenge from a Norwich United rival (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)
A minutes silence is observed for victims of the Westminster attack prior to kick-off at Hornchurch (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)
Martin Tuohy celebrates one of his goals for Hornchurch (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)
Usman Adeniji attacks for Hornchurch against Norwich United (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)
Martin Tuohy struck twice to help promotion-chasing Hornchurch bounce back from their disappointing draw with bottom club Wroxham a week earlier and claim three Ryman North points.
Hornchurch went into the match with a respectable run of form after five wins from their last seven league games and sitting in third place.
Visitors Norwich United, meanwhile, lay in eighth place with five wins from their last seven league games, but in a somewhat scrappy and fragmented first half, chances were few and far between for the most part.
The Planters sought to get their feet firmly rooted and made the first meaningful attack in the fifth minute when Adam Hipperson’s low, driven shot was well stopped by Horchurch Keeper Sam Mott.
Two minutes later, a marauding and powerful run from Norwich’s Cassimiro Datocampol was haulted by a foul and the visitors were awarded a free-kick in a good position on the edge of the 18-yard box. But Hipperson’s resultant strike was hit straight into the Hornchurch wall.
The Urchins suffered a loss in the 18th minute when injured winger Abs Thompson had to hobble off the pitch and make way for subsitute Usman Adeniji.
But the pacey Adeniji made a positive impact for the home side and his first contribution was fairly swift.
In the 23rd minute, after a good run down the right, Adeniji’s cut back across the box fell to Tuohy, but he failed to get the ball under control and the chance for a shot quickly evaporated.
Both sides continued to appear wasteful and incoherent in possession as the half grew on.
And of the two teams, The Planters had the lion’s share of possession in the first half and better opportunities to take the lead.
On 27 minutes, Jamie Speller played a neat pass down the left to Chris Finch and his angled drive in the area skimmed the side netting.
Although Hornchurch were stuttering through the match thus far, they began to find some rhythm in attack which led to a chance in 29th minute. Defender Jed Chouman cut the ball back from the right and found Tuohy in the box, but the front man could only shoot straight at Wilton and after a good stop, the Norwich keeper scrambled to gather with Tuohy closing in for another bite of the cherry.
The hosts continued to grow in confidence and after a hitting the visitors on the break on 32 minutes, a Tuohy cross was met by Alex Bentley who blazed high and not handsomely over the crossbar.
Ten minutes later Hornchurch strike duo Ross Wall and Tuohy linked up well to fashion a good scoring opportunity.
After a delicately lofted pass over the Norwich defence from Wall, the ball fell into the path of Tuohy who was thwarted once again by Wilton as his low shot was straight into the body of the Norwich stopper who got down well to gather.
In stoppage time Norwich won a corner and Datocompol rose highest to power a header just over the bar.
If the first half belonged to The Planters, the second belonged to the Urchins and a minute after the restart, Tuohy again found himself through on goal after a good pass from midfield, but his tame shot was again saved by Wilton.
This seemed to be turning into something a mini-duel between the two, with the Norwich keeper coming out on top to that point.
Norwich carved a good chance in the 52nd minute as Tim Henery’s cross was headed on by Sam Watts and fell to the skillful Hipperson who sent a sweetly struck volley over the bar.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 57th minute, though, as Tuohy finally seized his moment.
After a good run down the right flank, Adeniji whipped in a cross and Tuohy rose to head the ball goalwards at the near post.
Wilton, got a hand on the effort but was unable to keep the ball out and Tuohy had his goal.
Tuohy’s shackles were losse and the forward found the net again in the 64th minute after his half-volley took a big deflection and crept beyond the despairing dive of Wilton.
Norwich made a subitution and brought on Liam Jackson for Datocompol on 66 minutes, with Hornchurch captain Elliot Styles booked four minutes later after a reckless tackle from behind on Hipperson.
On 75 minutes, Wall found himself in space after a good delivery into the box but with virtually a free header, he looped his effort over the bar.
As the match drew to a close, there was time for one final attack from the hosts and after a good burst of pace and a penetrating run from Adeniji, the winger slid a good through pass into Abs Seymour leaving him one on one with Wilton.
But after attempting to round the keeper Seymour’s angled shot was well stopped.
It was all three points bagged for the Urchins and with a clash against table toppers Brightlingsea Regent next on the cards, this result will be a massive confidence booster and ensure play-off hopes are kept alive.
Hornchurch: Mott, Bentley, Nesbitt, Lee, Easterford, Chouman, Thompson (Adeniji 17), Styles Tuohy, Wall (Purcell 90), Seymour. Unused subs: Joseph, Hussain, Hursit.