Nwachukwu marks landmark 250th appearance with brace in Horsham victory

Ryman League South Division: Horsham v Corinthian Casuals. Tony Nwachukwu first goal. Pic Steve Robards SR1703806 SUS-170227-150624001
Ryman League South Division: Horsham v Corinthian Casuals. Tony Nwachukwu first goal. Pic Steve Robards SR1703806 SUS-170227-150624001

Tony Nwachukwu marked his landmark 250th Horsham appearance with a two-goal brace to get his side back to winning ways on Saturday.

The fans’ favourite came off the bench to score a second-half double which saw the Hornets record their first win for a month.

Ryman League South Division: Horsham v Corinthian Casuals. Tony Nwachukwu celebrates his first goal. Pic Steve Robards SR1703813 SUS-170227-150640001

Ryman League South Division: Horsham v Corinthian Casuals. Tony Nwachukwu celebrates his first goal. Pic Steve Robards SR1703813 SUS-170227-150640001

After securing a 1-1 draw at Faversham Town midweek after a run of four straight defeats, Nwachukwu hit a quick two goals to send play-off chasing Corinthian Casuals to defeat at Gorings Mead.

Nwachukwu has netted 72 goals in his Horsham career over numerous spells at the club after joining the club as an under-18 player and breaking into the first team in 2009.

Hornets manager Dominic Di Paola said: “It’s a brilliant achievement in this day and age to have played that many games for one club.

“He is a good lad as well and has had a bit of a tough season after being out all of last season and coming back and picking up lots of niggles.

Ryman League South Division: Horsham v Corinthian Casuals. Tony Nwachukwu second goal. Pic Steve Robards SR1703818 SUS-170227-150654001

Ryman League South Division: Horsham v Corinthian Casuals. Tony Nwachukwu second goal. Pic Steve Robards SR1703818 SUS-170227-150654001

“It’s a major achievement and a nice way of marking it. Tony is probably the closest we have to a club legend these days and it would be nice to see a few more players get to three figures.”

The first chance went to Casuals as Shaun Okojie was blocked out as he tried to latch onto a free kick and then nodded the following corner straight at Josh Pelling.

Ben Cheklit fired over the bar and Okojie was then denied by a goaline clearance from Alex Duncan after the visitors tricked their way into Horsham box.

The Hornets defence remained solid while at the other end debutant Taser Hassan registered their first real effort as he tested Danny Bracken from 25 yards.

Ryman League South Division: Horsham v Corinthian Casuals. Tony Nwachukwu second goal. Pic Steve Robards SR1703819 SUS-170227-150709001

Ryman League South Division: Horsham v Corinthian Casuals. Tony Nwachukwu second goal. Pic Steve Robards SR1703819 SUS-170227-150709001

Mu Maan connected with a free header from within the box direct from a corner, however Pelling produced an impressive diving save.

Horsham’s fellow new recruit Liam Wright then saw his close-range header saved off the line by Danny Dudley before half-time.

Within two minutes of the restart, a superb block by Steve Metcalf denied Mahrez Bettache what seemed like a certain goal. With Darren Boswell and Nwachukwu coming off the bench, there was almost an instant impact as the latter nearly put home a Hassan cross.

Pelling then saved from Okoji’s shot, but the ball fell to Maan who somehow drilled wide from six yards.

Ryman League South Division: Horsham v Corinthian Casuals. Tony Nwachukwu 2nd goal. Pic Steve Robards SR1703824 SUS-170227-150724001

Ryman League South Division: Horsham v Corinthian Casuals. Tony Nwachukwu 2nd goal. Pic Steve Robards SR1703824 SUS-170227-150724001

Just a minute later, Nwachukwu raced out a sliced kick and steering the ball home with a tidy finish. And three minutes later Nwachukwu struck again as he beat his marker and fired past Bracken from a Tom Lawley pass.

Nwachukwu fired a chance for his hat-trick over the bar, while with four minutes left, Reyon Dillon headed wide when he could have set up a nervy finale.

Horsham: Pelling, Duncan, Metcalf, Jones, Hunt, Lawley, Harris, Kirkwood, Thurgar (Nwachukwu 54), Hassan (Rogers 81), Wright (Boswell 53). Subs: Branford, Laing.