Hornchurch head into Christmas on a high

Romford happy with points return

Hornchurch head into the Christmas break in high spirits after a Ryman Premier Division derby win over Aveley.

Buoyed by their FA Trophy replay success at Farnborough, they took a 25th-minute lead at Bridge Avenue through leading scorer Martin Tuohy on Saturday.

Tuohy headed home Tommy Black’s cross for his 16th goal of the campaign and Urchins doubled their lead soon after the interval when Reiss Noel fired through a crowded box for his first goal of the season.

Substitute Jake Cass hit back for Aveley on the hour, within seconds of coming off the bench.

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But it proved only a consolation for Lee Hodges’ Millers as Hornchurch held on for three points to remain firmly in the promotion hunt.

Jimmy McFarlane’s men visit leaders Billericay, whom they trail by four points but with a game in hand, on December 27 (2pm), before a New Year’s Eve trip to Canvey.

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Romford, meanwhile, had to settle for a point against Tilbury in Ryman Division One North.

Defences dominated for the most part at Mill Field, but the visitors struck first through Tom Webb early in the second half.

Boro were soon back on terms, though, as captain and record appearance maker Paul Clayton — presented with an award before kick-off — converted a free-kick from Dave Ottley.

Tilbury had the better chances to win it in the closing stages, but Lamar Joseph-Johnson made a crucial save and Jamie Dicks a well-timed intervention as it ended 1-1.

The stalemate sees Paul Martin’s men sitting in 12th place on 29 points for the season, with games in hand on most of the teams above them in the table.

They visit Grays on Boxing Day (2pm), before travelling to FA Cup heroes Redbridge on New Year’s Eve.

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