Football: Thornbury Baptists reach GFA Minor Cup semi-finals after penalty shootout drama

First published in Thornbury Sport

GFA Minor Cup Quarter-Final

Thornbury Baptists 3 Cesson 3

(Thornbury win 4-2 on penalties)

THORNBURY skipper Jimmy Cooke fired home two direct free-kicks to help The Baps overturn a 3-1 deficit late into this quarter-final tie at Alveston.

Moments later, player-manager Chris Beddoes then fired home the victorious penalty kick.

Thornbury had led as early as the fifth minute when bruising centre-half Nick Tymko bundled the loose ball home when the hosts failed to clear a corner from the right, but despite the promising start, the hosts were guilty of taking their foot off the gas and showed signs of feeling the effects of the Christmas break.

The visitors from Bristol and District League Division Five rallied and equalised with a powerful half volley from just outside the area that was too hot to handle for stand-in keeper Jake Alker.

They led the game at half-time after forging their own scrambled goal from an inswinging corner kick.

Manager Beddoes asked his men to take some personal responsibility in the second half and he saw an immediate response with Ash Tuck and James Hancox both threatening the opposition goalmouth early in the second half.

Cesson countered again, though, and secured a 3-1 lead when the striker was put through on the left and an onrushing Jake Alker from goal, could only scythe down the opponent in the box and was lucky to escape with the yellow card and penalty, which was duly slotted in.

The game looked to be drifting away but when Ash Tuck earned a free-kick on the right, Jimmy Cooke’s cross-cum-shot found the roof of the net over the ailing keeper.

In bizarre circumstances Thornbury had another free-kick in a similar position just five minutes from the end as Steve Nash was this time upended.

Buoyed by his earlier success Cooke fired home over the keeper to the far corner and the Baps held out for a penalty shootout.

Alker produced a magnificent save first up and when Cesson also failed to convert their third penalty it was Beddoes, introduced as a late substitute, who sent his team through to the semi-final.

Jack Spence, James Hancox and Jimmy Cooke also converted their spot-kicks.

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