Spot-on Tuohy saves Urchins

Martin Tuohy scores the first of his two penalties for against Salisbury (Gavin Ellis/TGS)

Martin Tuohy scores the first of his two penalties for against Salisbury (Gavin Ellis/TGS) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Hornchurch 2 Salisbury 2

Martin Tuohy was Hornchurch’s hero as his two penalties rescued a crucial point against Conference South leaders Salisbury at Bridge Avenue.

Tuohy’s escond spot-kick in the 90th minute, his fifth goal in two games, ensured Urchins were rewarded for a spirited second-half performance and stopped a three-game losing streak in the league.

Alex Bentley looked to have cost his team a point when he chested in James White’s shot nine minutes from time, moments after Tuohy’s first penalty had pulled Hornchurch level for the first time.

But the striker was not to be denied as he beat Salisbury keeper Will Puddy from the spot again as time ran out,

Michael Spencer’s 29th-minute own goal from Elliott Frear’s corner had beaten Urchins goalkeeper Joe Woolley to give the visitors the lead.

And, in truth, Hornchurch offered little as an attacking force until Leon McKenzie came on just before the hour mark.

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But manager Jimmy McFarlane will have been pleased by the character shown by his team following a poor run of league results.

Woolley made a couple of excellent saves early in the first half, but his opposite number did not have a stop to make in the opening 45 minutes.

Urchins, without suspended duo Lewis Smith and Tambeson Eyong, improved after McKenzie’s introduction and thought they should have had a penalty as the striker’s flick struck the hand of Salisbury defender Robbie Matthews, but referee Mike George waved play on.

George was pointing to the spot after 79 minutes, though, after Spencer’s cross was handled by Dutton.

Tuohy, having missed a penalty in the midweek Essex Senior Cup win against Colchester, made no mistake as he sent Puddy the wrong way.

Jubilation turned to despair two minutes later as Bentley became the second Hornchurch player to put into their own net.

But Tuohy was not to be denied as the home side were awarded another penalty in the dying seconds after the striker was brought down by Dutton as he shaped to shoot.

Again Tuohy made no mistake and secured his side a valuable point in their battle against relegation.

Hornchurch: Woolley, Fletcher (McKenzie 57), Bentley, Tomlinson, Goodacre, Noel, May, Curley, Tuohy (Love 90), Gray, Spencer.