Thornbury town take step up after promotion season
Thornbury Town have entered a new era after playing their first game in the Uhlsport Hellenic League, having secured promotion following a League and Cup double last season.
After a frantic summer getting all the necessary ground improvements in place that are required for this higher level of football it was with some nervousness that Thornbury welcomed Cheltenham Saracens to the Mundys.
The team adjusted quickly to the increased pace and physicality of Hellenic League football and it was Saracens’s defence that struggled in the early stages of the first half but Town failed to convert their chances. Cheltenham came out the stronger side in the second half, hitting the woodwork early on.
Just after the hour mark, Saracens took the lead when Goodhall scored and although Thornbury pressed for an equaliser, Saracens doubled their lead 15 minutes later, with Harlie Price netting. Even with a late long range shot by Cheltenham hitting the woodwork, Thornbury didn’t let their heads drop and were rewarded with a last minute goal, Tom Webb threading the ball through to Harry Brock who lifted the ball over the keeper to score.
Town then entertained Cirencester Town Development when a good sized crowd witnessed an entertaining game. The opening 20 minutes was played at a frantic pace with Thornbury enjoying the majority of possession and creating a couple of half chances but took the lead on the half hour mark, Marcus Wormwell steering his shot past Kuczinsky into the corner of the net.
Two minutes later Thornbury doubled their lead through Toby Bennett. The visitors pushed forward to try to get back into the game and were awarded a converted penalty. However within a minute Thornbury were awarded a penalty of their own when Joe Guest was fouled. Bennett’s spot kick was saved but Wormwell was on hand to net the rebound.
Two quick goals at the start of the second half put the game beyond the visitors. Firstly Brandon Benjamin lobbed the ball over the hesitating keeper’s head and into the net. Five minutes later Town were awarded a free kick and Bennett’s set piece was met with a powerful header from skipper Pete Fowler which gave Kuczinsky no chance. The sixth goal, 5 minutes from time came from a mistake by Grierson whose poor backpass found Wormwell and whilst he could not net for his hat trick, he set up Matt Davis to score at the far post.
Town followed that win with another vital victory, 3-2 against Clanfield. The visitors made it very hard work for Thornbury and took the lead in the second minute when Gibbens headed home a corner. However a break by Tom Webb down the left after 12 minutes brought Town an equaliser, Brandon Benjamin steering the ball into the corner of the net. Thornbury keeper Kurtis Parkin pulled off a couple of good saves to keep the scores level.
Thornbury started the second half a little more brightly but Clanfield were still a threat on the break and they retook the lead when Gibbens scored his second, heading home a freekick. Moments later Fullerton could have put the game beyond Thornbury but Kurtis Parkin again saved well at his feet.
The introduction of Harry Brock 20 minutes from time changed Towns fortunes as he latched on to a through ball from Toby Bennett, outpaced his marker and crossed for Marcus Wormwell to net at the far post. Town stepped up the pressure in search of a winner which came in the second minute of stoppage time. Brock was again put clear and although Zoldan saved at his feet the ball broke free and Benjamin was quickest to react, firing home with the keeper stranded.