10-man Urchins win
PUBLISHED: 08:15 11 March 2015 | UPDATED: 09:20 11 March 2015
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Ryman Premier: AFC Hornchurch 2 Canvey Island 0
AFC Hornchurch secured a vital 2-0 victory over Canvey Island despite spending most of the match a man down.
George Purcell had put the hosts in front midway through the first half before Sam Mott saw red in the 34th minute.
The Bridge Avenue side dug in and in the dying seconds Martin Tuohy clinched the triumph with a penalty.
Neither side entered the game in the best of form with the Urchins having won just one of their last six while Island were looking for their first win in four.
The hosts made five changes from the 2-1 weekend loss against Witham Town, including a second debut for Reece Beckles-Richards who has returned on loan from Woking.
With seven minutes gone a cross from Tobi Joseph evaded the Canvey defenders and fell to Joey May who saw his effort cleared off the line and onto the post by Joe Carter before being hoofed away.
Both teams were creating plenty of chances in the opening 20 minutes but sadly the finishes were missing the target.
Joseph came close in the 22nd minute when the ball bounced to him after a goalmouth scramble following a corner but his effort from six yards dribbled wide of the post.
The Urchins took the lead less than sixty seconds later when Purcell beat two defenders to a long clearance to score from the edge of the area.
The Gulls had been pumping long balls forward all game but the hosts’ defence were reading every Canvey move.
Island were lucky not to be down to 10 men in the 32nd minute when John Curran hacked down Billy Coyne from behind for which he was shown a yellow card.
But it was the Urchins who had a man sent off two minutes later when goalkeeper Mott fouled Jack Simmons after he was through on goal following a poor headed backpass by Junior Luke.
Captain Elliot Styles took over the gloves and from the resulting free kick on the edge of the area former Leeds United striker Enoch Showunmi grazed the crossbar.
Purcell had a glorious chance to extend Hornchurch’s lead 15 minutes into the second half after a mazy run from the left past three defenders but he could only curl his right-footed shot over the bar.
It looked to be costly as three minutes later Purcell fouled Harrison Chatting in the box and was shown a yellow card for his troubles.
Thankfully for the Urchins Curran clipped the post with the penalty kick as it went wide.
It should have been a second for the hosts in the 70th minute when sub Kieran Bishop found fellow replacement Martin Tuohy six yards out only for him to scuff his shot wide.
Since going in goal Styles had yet to be properly tested by the Canvey attack even with 10 minutes remaining.
In the 89th minute Tuohy was fouled in the box by John Easterford who was given his marching orders.
And Tuohy dusted himself down to slot the penalty to secure what could prove a vital win for the Urchins in their bid to remain in the Ryman Premier.
Hornchurch: Mott, Luke, Coyne, Styles, Roast, Curley, May (Homans 90+2), Johnson, Joseph, Purcell (Tuohy 68), Beckles-Richards (Bishop 68).
Referee: Paul Howard
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