Thornbury Town 0 Bristol Rovers XI 6

Football: Thornbury are hit for six by Bristol Rovers

Mitch Harding is challenged by Thornbury’s Rob Cave GMW804H12

Phil Williams challenging Jordan Goddard GMW806V12

Thornbury and Bristol Rovers players before walk onto the pitch GMW801H12

Phil Williams tackles Ellis Harrison GMW807H12

Tom Webb on the ball for Thornbury GMW810V12

First published in Sport

THORNBURY Town vice-chairman Toni Watola declared their prestigious friendly against Bristol Rovers a success.

A crowd of almost 400 witnessed an entertaining game at the Mundy Playing Fields on Sunday with Rovers fielding a side made up of their junior professionals and some of their under-18 squad.

“It was a reasonably competitive game played in a good spirit and we’d consider holding something similar next season,” said Watola, who is also the finance director at the League Two club.

“I would’ve liked some more people to come, but we did make a small surplus.

We’ll reconfigure it next time and see if we can make it more successful.”

The fitness and sharpness of the Rovers youngsters proved key as they recorded a comfortable win, but the Thornbury players can take credit from their performance, especially in the second half.

Rovers started brightly and they were rewarded when they took the lead in the seventh minute, Ellis Harrison curling a shot past Rob Dent.

The setback spurred Town into action and Danny Thompson curled a 25-yard effort just wide of the far post with Rovers keeper Conor Gough beaten.

Moments later a powerful Steve Alexander effort was straight at Gough, who saved comfortably.

Rovers then hit Thornbury with two goals in a minute, Tom Lockyer scoring with a header from a corner followed by a well struck Mitch Harding effort from the edge of the penalty area.

Thorns’ defence kept working hard to deny the visitors space and in a rare attack, Danny Thompson’s shot was spilt by Gough but he saved at the second attempt.

On the stroke of half-time Rovers extended their lead following a quick break down the right, Harrison converting the cross at the far post.

The second half again saw Rovers dominate but Thorns enjoyed more possession than in the first period and the speed and movement of Steve Alexander and Dan Bendall caused some problems for the Rovers defence.

The visitors extended their lead on the hour mark when Laurent Davis-Wilson fired home from a narrow angle after Thorns substitute keeper Alex Lippiatt had made a great save.

Lippiatt pulled off a number of good saves, including a Mitchell Harding penalty to keep the scoreline down.

With 15 minutes remaining Dan Bendall’s jinking run saw him take the ball past a couple of defenders, to leave him with just the keeper to beat but Gough saved bravely at his feet.

With the very last kick of the game Jordan Goddard made it six for Rovers.

Despite the defeat, Thorns players can take some credit from the game for their battling performance in a match that was played in the right spirit by both sides.

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