Hornchurch extended their winning run to 11 games as 2 first half goals from Nathan Cooper and Kenzer Lee claimed the points at Norwich United.
NORWICH UTD 0 HORNCHURCH 2
NU – Wilton, Pollock (Jackson 73), Speller, Wones, Eastaugh, Watts, Mackie, Hipperson, Cheese (Henery 55), Sanusi (Lapite 78), Datocampol
Subs – Crosby, Nicol-Wilson
HFC – Mott, Hursit, Porter, Lee, Cooper, Roberts, Fairweather-Johnson (Hussain 90), Chouman, McKenzie (Wall 78), Tuohy (Fanimo 83), Warner
Three subs only
Scorers – Cooper 5 – Lee 25
Bookings – McKenzie 29 (H) – Lapite (81) N
NORWICH UTD 0 HORNCHURCH 2
Hornchurch recorded their seventh straight league win of the season, but went into the match without Elliot Styles, Tobi Joseph and Alex Bentley, all injured, and George Purcell, who started a three-match suspension following his red card the previous Saturday.
With several players capable of scoring goals regularly, it was perhaps not much of a surprise when Hornchurch took the lead on five minutes, but it did not come from one of the forwards. A free kick was only partly cleared and Nathan Cooper made no mistake with a hard shot straight back and into the net.
Two minutes later Leon McKenzie almost made it two, but his shot went wide of the target.
With Hornchurch in command, goalkeeper Andy Wilton saved a Jed Chouman shot on nine minutes, and Chouman was again in action sixty seconds later, when his centre found McKenzie, whose header was a fraction too high and over the bar.
Norwich had rarely threatened but when he did come forward on 23 minutes Kenzer Lee was alert to the danger and made a timely interception.
And it was Lee who two minutes later headed home the second goal from a well-flighted centre.
Hornchurch continued to impress, and when Sam Mott launched a long kick upfield, McKenzie flicked the ball on to Martin Tuohy, but he was crowded out before he could get a shot on goal.
Five minutes from the interval Mott, a spectator for long periods, was alert to a Hafeez Sanusi header, and made an excellent save, tipping the ball over the bar for a corner.
It was the turn of the Norwich keeper, Wilton, to shine in the final minute of the half, with a very good save to keep out a goalbound shot from Theo Fairweather-Johnson.
Wilton was soon back in action in the second half, which was just five minutes old when he dived to save a McKenzie volley.
On 53 minutes Jay Porter made ground on the left and centred to McKenzie, and Wilton made yet another fine save, and repeated the performance seconds later, saving from Sean Roberts.
Wilton came to the rescue once again when he saved from Fairweather-Johnson on 58 minutes, and four minutes later Brad Warner fired in a shot that was too high and over the bar.
The overworked Wilton was soon back in the thick of the action, when Warner took a pass from Fairweather-Johnson, cut inside, but found Wilton again in top form.
Norwich had just a handful of chances, one of which came on 72 minutes, but the shot was wide of the mark.
Ross Wall came on for McKenzie, but it was Warner who came close to adding to the score, with a shot from just six yards out, that rose too sharply and cleared the bar.
Matthias Fanimo, who came on for Martin Tuohy, was in action almost immediately, moving on to Warner’s cross, but hooking his shot over the bar.
Taj Hussain replaced Fairweather-Johnson to play out the final three minutes of stoppage time.
Two goals both from defenders, but the main acclaim must go to home keeper Andy Wilton for keeping the score to respectable levels.