GFA Minor Cup Final
Thornbury Baptists 2 Easton Cowboys Reserves 1
TWO nerveless finishes from in-form striker Ash Tuck were good enough to see Thornbury celebrate one of the finest achievements in their history with a fantastic and deserved GFA Cup final win.
In front of a lively 200-strong crowd at Oaklands Park on Monday night, Thornbury started the better and could have led when a Steve Clare header at the back post was brilliantly saved by the Easton goalkeeper.
The Cowboys had brought a boisterous support, however, and whilst they didn’t outnumber the Thornbury support, they certainly found their voices and began to spur their team into life.
Thornbury looked vulnerable from set pieces against a tall Cowboys side and it was Clare again in the thick of the action with a goal-line clearance to keep the scores level.
On 25 minutes the game exploded into life when James Hancox leapt to win a header in the box and the ball dropped sweetly for Tuck to slide past the keeper with his trusty right foot.
Merely minutes later the Cowboys support was well and truly silenced when Tuck latched on to a Jack Spence through-ball and rounded the keeper before nonchalantly chipping into the empty net.
The score probably flattered the Baps at half-time but the defensive pairing of Nic Tymko and Elliot Millard exerted their usual dominance, ably supported by Jake Alker and Josh Skinner on the flanks.
The second half saw that defensive resilience tested to the full as chances came at both ends and Dave Lane was forced into a couple of tricky low saves.
At the other end Tuck was denied his hat-trick by a brilliant diving stop and Jimmy Cooke fired a decent chance straight at the goalkeeper.
With time ticking agonisingly slowly and the game deep into an extensive injury time after cramp had taken its toll, Easton had a jolt of hope when their striker fired a thunderous drive past Lane from fully 30 yards out.
Thornbury held out for the remaining seconds though and celebrated a truly special night for the club with great support from the church, family and friends.
Chairman Dave Finney praised the team for their monumental effort and commitment throughout the great cup run and manager Chris Beddoes glowed with pride as he cracked open the champagne in the dressing room.
Tuck picked up a thoroughly deserved man of the match award and skipper Cooke lifted the trophy.