Thornbury Town eye new chapter after historic season
The sun has finally set on what must be the most memorable season in Thornbury Town Football Club’s history, Malcom Carr writes.
After becoming champions of the Marcliff Gloucestershire County League with 5 games to spare, they put the icing on the cake by completing a League and Cup double by beating Frampton United 1-0 in the Les James League Cup Final.
Despite a backlog of fixtures as a result of postponements, Thornbury managed to maintain their winning ways putting together a run of 15 successive wins stretching back to 20 January - their last defeat was on 4 November last year.
Town maintained their position as League leaders from the end of September and whilst clubs below them had games in hand, Thornbury’s consistency meant they had no chance of overhauling the leaders. In the end skipper Pete Fowler’s goal in a 1-0 win at AEK Boco saw Town become County League champions by 15 points. They were the top scorers in the League as well as having the meanest defence. Thornbury’s manager Andy Davies has instilled an attacking style of football into his squad and the side scored freely, averaging 3 goals a game.
Their success has kept the spectators at the Mundy Fields well entertained and a large crowd witnessed their last home fixture, a 3-2 win against Broadwell Amateurs, after which skipper Pete Fowler was presented with the County League trophy. Striker Craig Lancastle picked up the League’s Golden Boot award having netted 43 goals in his 35 appearances and has now scored over a 100 goals for the club. Also amongst the goals were Toby Bennett, Brandon Benjamin and Marcus Wormwell, who scored 35 between them.
The League Cup Final at Stonehouse Town’s ground attracted a crowd of over 300, with a large Thornbury following. The game was a tense and tight affair but Frampton were eventually undone by a stunning volley from centre back Nathan Sage in the 57th minute, his first goal of the season. Toby Bennett’s corner was cleared, but only as far as Sage whose first time volley from 25 yards was in the net before the Frampton keeper could even move- a goal worthy of winning any game.
Meanwhile the Reserve side continued to chase a promotion spot but a couple of unfortunate defeats saw them slip away, eventually finishing 5th in the table. The appointment of James Davies as manager saw the squad become more settled and with a number of players coming through from the Under 18s and settling into Stroud League football, the future looks bright for the second string. Unfortunately James has found it necessary to step down from the role for next season, and the club are now inviting applications from anyone interested in taking on this important role.
The two U18 sides also had good seasons and were always in with a shout of challenging for their respective league titles. However in the end the Colts side had to be content with a runners-up spot following a final day 3-0 win against Bristol Central whilst the Reds side missed out on the runners-up slot in their division after slipping to defeat in their last two games.
Behind the scenes U18s manager Simon Evans has set up a sponsorship deal with Drive Vauxhall at Patchway which has seen both the first team and Reserves provided with new kits in addition to other benefits.