Football: Thornbury gather momentum ahead of GFA Cup final

Gazette Series: (4991288) (4991288)

BCFA Division One

Thornbury Baptists 2 Castle Green 2

SKIPPER Jimmy Cooke smashed home a deserved equaliser for Thornbury with the last kick of this hard-fought encounter to earn a potentially vital point and some healthy momentum as The Baps prepare for next Monday’s GFA Minor Cup Final.

Thornbury led this game early on after Nic Lockett-Chapman and Ash Tuck combined before Cooke latched onto the loose ball from midfield and fired into the far corner with his left foot.

Thornbury then took control of the game and should have been two-up when Tuck was set through one-on-one by James Hancox but his chip over the on-rushing goalkeeper rebounded off the crossbar.

Once again it was defending the set piece that was Thornbury’s downfall as Castle Green levelled from a corner headed home at the near post but by half-time Thornbury were the dominant side and had their sights set on three points to quash any fears of relegation.

With both sides ringing the changes late on, Castle Green took the lead with ten minutes remaining as a pass split Sam Alker and Elliott Millard at the back and the striker slotted coolly past Dave Lane with the referee electing to overrule the linesman’s flag.

With the game seemingly lost, Hancox launched another long throw into the box and as the scramble ensued, the ball fell beautifully for Cooke, who was able to smash home his second from just a few yards out.

Thornbury face Easton Cowboys Reserves in the final of the GFA Minor Cup Final on Monday, April 7 at GFA HQ, Almondsbury (7.30pm).

This is Thornbury’s first major final in a decade and their first in GFA cup competition.

Admission is £3.

Club chairman Dave Finney said: "There is a lot of excitement in the team and it is great to see that filtering into the church as well.

"I know there will be plenty of people turning out to support the club and I look forward to seeing as many as possible on what promises to be a special night for this team."

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