BCAFL Division One

Thornbury Baptist Church FC 1-2 Woodlands United

This game was decided by clinical finishing as Woodlands United converted two of their very few chances while Thornbury missed one too many that fell their way in a game where both defences offered up relatively little throughout the 90 minutes.

Woodlands had much the better of the opening half an hour but Thornbury had packed the midfield, reverting to a 4-5-1 with several first team players still sidelined with injury, and despite the pressure, there was little genuine threat to Davis Newcombe’s goal.

The visitors did get their deserved lead however when a corner on 33 minutes was powerfully headed home by the on-rushing centre-half leaving Newcombe no chance.

At the other end James Ponting was causing problems down the left flank and Thornbury thought they had an equaliser on 40 minutes only for Aidan Maddox’s cool finish to be ruled out for a handball as he sought to control the whipped cross on his chest.

The second half saw Thornbury much more in the ascendency. Jimmy Cooke fired narrowly wide from an inch-perfect Ben Paddy pass and John Cordle drilled a well-struck volley from thirty yards just over the bar.

Woodlands were sitting deeper and deeper but were always a threat on the counter attack and ultimately it was a single, swift break that put this game beyond Thornbury. The Woodlands striker picked up the clearance wide on the left and beat two Thornbury defenders before firing the ball inside Davis Newcombe’s near post to double the lead.

Nic Lockett-Chapman and Will Ponting were introduced from the Thornbury bench as the hosts bolstered their attacking options and it was Lockett-Chapman who offered a glimmer of hope when he converted a Nile Haskins-Spellman cross on 83 minutes to fire home his first competitive goal for the club in 2044 days, since a last-minute equaliser against The Sanctuary in March 2015. Thornbury piled numbers forward and forced a free-kick and a corner as the seconds ticked away. The inevitable goalmouth scramble ensued and Ben Paddy fired Thornbury’s last effort into a crowd of bodies on the line before Woodlands hacked the ball clear and were granted the relief of the final whistle.