In a game played in blustery conditions the game ebbed and flowed throughout but 2 goals by Martin Tuohy in a 6 minute spell midway through the second half were enough to claim all 3 points.
HORNCHURCH 2 NORWICH UTD
HFC – Mott, Bentley, Nesbitt, Lee, Easterford, Chouman, Thompson (Adeniji 17), Styles ©, Tuohy, Wall (Purcell 90) Seymour
Subs – Joseph, Hussain, Hursit
NU – Wilton, Mason, Brown, Datocompol (Laim Jackson 68), Wones, Watts, Radomski, Speller ©, Hipperson, Henery (Joe Jackson 90), Finch
Subs – Jones, Stewart, Johnson
Officials – Ryan Head with Jordan Whitworth and Bobby Kwatt
Scorers – Tuohy 58 – Tuohy 64
Bookings – Styles 67 (H) – Bentley 79 (H)
Duration 47.00 + 48.00
HORNCHURCH 2 NORWICH UTD
On a bright and sunny day, Hornchurch took the field without leading scorer Leon McKenzie, who was unwell, and they lost Abs Thompson after just 17 minutes with a leg injury.
Norwich took full advantage and they had the better of the early play, a shot by Adam Hipperson going dangerously close to opening the score, whilst Sam Mott had to deal with a succession of corners.
A Norwich free kick rebounded back off the wall of defenders, and Hornchurch had to wait until the tenth minute for their first attack, when Thompson made a good run along the right and sent the ball over into the middle, where Martin Tuohy was off target with his shot.
Thompson was shortly afterwards replaced by Ozzie Adeniji, but it was Norwich who again went close, when a shot from Dawid Radomski was deflected for a corner.
Adeniji played on the right wing and his first run ended with a fine cross into the middle where Tuohy’s shot was blocked by a defender.
Christy Finch had a chance to open the scoring with a good run in from the left, but although he was able to get in a hard shot, the ball hit the side netting.
Hornchurch came more into the game as the half progressed and an Adeniji run opened up the right flank, and his cross found Tuohy, only for Andy Wilson to make an excellent save to keep the ball out of the net.
Both Ross Wall and Tuohy went close in a matter of seconds when an Adeniji centre created confusion in the visiting defence, but the half ended with Jamie Speller sending in a good shot, which Sam Mott turned around the post.
Hornchurch had a scare in the first minute of the second period when a Hipperson shot was hooked just a fraction over the bar, and Abs Seymour did well to defend a hard volley from Radomski.
Hornchurch regained control, and took the lead when the referee pulled back play for a pointless challenge on Sam Mott, awarding an indirect free kick for obstruction. Mott played the ball deep upfield, and Wall headed on to Adeniji, on the right wing. Ozzie left defenders trailing before crossing the ball into the middle, where Martin Tuohy was ideally placed to head home.
It could have been two when an Abs Seymour centre bounced around in a packed goalmouth before rebounding into the grateful arms of Andy Wilton.
Constant pressure paid off when a long free kick into the area reached Martin Tuohy, who turned and fired the ball hard into the net.
Norwich never looked capable of coming back, and were fortunate not to fall further behind when a Teddy Nesbitt free kick found Ross Wall, but Wilson saved well from the header.
George Purcell, who had played 40 minutes in a reserve match on Thursday, came on for his first appearance in the first team since mid-December, and he was quickly involved, with a fine run along the left wing, culminating in a good cross into the middle, where there was no one able to get the final touch.