Thornbury Town 2 Newent Town 2

A late, late equaliser kept Thorns hopes of finishing runners-up alive on Monday evening in front of a “Groundhop Weekend” crowd of almost 300.

Newent had proved a difficult team to beat earlier in the season and so it proved again as they pressed forward from the start, but without really threatening the Town goal. Thorns had the best of the early chances when Joe Guest and Marcus Wormwell linked up down the right but Guest’s shot went just wide of the post. However midway through the half a mistake in the middle of the park saw Newent’s Jacob Nutting run clear and as Kurtis Parkin came out to block, Nutting chipped the ball over the keeper to give the visitors the lead.

Ten minutes later Newent doubled their lead when another mistake saw Sanchez Grange run clear and the tall striker gave Parkin no chance from 6 yards out. Town had not played badly but stepped up their game as they looked to pull a goal back before the break and the visitors keeper Goode had to be at his best to deny Wormwell.

The second half saw Thorns well on top and early on Brandon Benjamin shot narrowly over the bar but they did not have to wait long to pull a goal back. Benjamin’s through ball found Harry Brock who ran clear of the Newent defence to steer his shot past Goode. Minutes later Thorns almost equalised but Goode saved Craig Lancastle’s header from Matt Davis’ cross. Goode was soon back in action turning Toby Bennett’s low effort round the foot of the post.

With 15 minutes left Thorns thought they had equalised but Brandon Benjamin’s effort was disallowed for offside but they kept pushing forward and deep into stoppage time at the end of the game they found the goal their second half performance deserved. Town won a corner on the right and Kurtis Parkin came upfield to add his height to the attack. The keeper’s header caused panic in the visitors defence and they failed to clear their lines as Marcus Wormwell fired home from 12 yards out. The final whistle sounded seconds later with the large crowd making their way home having enjoyed an entertaining game.

Thorns have acquitted themselves well in their first season at this level of football and have the Supplementary Cup Final to look forward to this Saturday when they meet Wallingford Town at the ASM Stadium in Thame, kick off 3pm.