Thornbury Town 0

Easington Sports 1

Hellenic League Division One West

League leaders Easington Sports scored a late penalty to inflict back-to-back defeats on Thornbury Town on Saturday.

Saturday’s match at Mundy Fields provided an entertaining game for a large crowd between two well matched, ball playing teams.

It was perhaps unfortunate that it was a harsh looking penalty call that separated them at the end of the 90 minutes.

Top of the table Easington, making the long journey from Banbury, were quick out of the blocks and gave Thorns no time to settle and it was the visitors that dominated the early exchanges. Their main threat was down the left where Joe Guest, making a welcome return after three months out with injury, found Eyre to be a bit of a handful.

It was from crosses by the wide man that Sports best chances came but on two occasions Convey and Spaull couldn’t get on the end of his cross.

Eventually Thorns began to take a foothold in the game and on 25 minutes Luke Franklin’s pass found Harry Brock darting into the penalty area but Sabin’s well-timed challenge averted the danger.

Just five minutes later Town created the best chance of the game when Franklin and Mark Viner linked up to play Craig Lancastle through but with just Sports keeper White to beat, Town’s leading scorer dragged his shot narrowly wide of the post.

The second half saw Town start brightly as they pushed forward at every opportunity but a well organised Sports defence were able to deal with any threat.

10 minutes into the half Lancastle set Harry Brock free, but his run towards the penalty area was brought to an unceremonious end.

Luke Franklin’s subsequent free-kick, whilst on target, did not seriously trouble White.

Whilst there was action in both penalty areas neither side could create the match winning opening although midway through the half Marcus Wormwell’s run and cross found Brock whose looping effort from just inside the area beat White but cannoned back off the crossbar.

With both sides looking for the win, the game opened up and Kurtis Parkin was called into action to produce two great saves from Rose and Coombes. Then, with just eight minutes remaining an Easington cross from the left saw Nathan Sage stumbling alongside a Sports striker and the ball struck his arm as he tried to keep his balance.

The referee interpreted it as a deliberate handball and Callum Convey stepped up to fire the spot kick past Parkin to give Easington the win and a vital three points.

The defeat left Thornbury in fourth place, six points off their opponents in top spot.

Thorns have a rest from League action this week as they entertain Premier Division side Reading City in the second round of the Hellenic Supplementary Cup.

Town will be looking to get back to winning ways in Saturday’s game after back to back defeats.

Kick off at the Mundy Fields is 3:00pm.

Despite these recent defeats club officials, players and supporters were delighted to hear that Thorns had been awarded the Division One team of the month Award for December, an indication that Town have made their mark at the higher level following their promotion from the Gloucestershire County League.

Elsewhere, the Reserves picked up an important point following a 0-0 draw with Tetbury Town.

The Reserves are currently near the foot of the table although they have four or five games in hand on most other sides.