FA Cup extra preliminary round

Leighton Town 4

Thornbury Town 1

THE road to Wembley proved to be a short one for Thornbury Town on Saturday after a defeat in their first-ever venture into the FA Cup, writes Malcolm Carr.

After a three-hour coach journey to Bedfordshire, Thorns found themselves a goal down in the first five minutes against their Spartan South Midlands League rivals.

Leighton pressed from the kick-off and after a goalmouth scramble from a 4th minute corner, Jim Brock cleared off Town’s line but the ball fell kindly for Tommy Bryant who hammered home from the edge of the area giving Rob Davies no chance.

Thorns settled after this but without creating any chances of their own but in the 16th-minute Mark Viner was penalised for a challenge 25-yards out and Leighton’s Danny Webb curled his free-kick round the wall and into the bottom corner to give them a 2-0 lead.

The hosts continued to press and Davies saved well from Towell and Bryant had another effort, this time finding the side netting. Thorns gradually played their way into the game and a cross in from the right found Craig Lancastle, but he was quickly closed down and his shot went over the bar. Leighton’s Towell fired wide when well placed and then with 10 minutes before the break Jim Brock set brother Harry free and as he outpaced the defence home keeper McKenzie snuffed out the chance.

With just a minute left before the break Town conceded a third when Webb’s cross from the right was steered home at the far post by Campbell. Thorns almost pulled a goal back in stoppage time when Lancastle set up Jim Brock whose effort was tipped away by McKenzie at the second attempt.

The second-half saw Town playing with the wind but they still found it hard to create clear cut chances and Davies had to be alert to save a couple of shots from Murrell early on. Lancastle had a shot from a corner blocked and Luke Franklin’s free-kick on the hour-mark went narrowly over the bar. Franklin’s long ball in the 20th-minute saw Lancastle hold off Murphy and lob the ball over the head of keeper McKenzie, but went narrowly wide of the post.

Although Thorns were more than matching their higher-ranked opponents it was Leighton who were creating the better chances with Silford screwing a free-kick narrowly wide of the post with 20 minutes left. Franklin’s ball found Marcus Wormwell and his cross shot flashed wide of the far post as Lancastle tried to get on the end of it.

With 10 minutes left, Thorns got the goal their play had deserved when Wormwell was brought down by Silford in the penalty area and Lancastle stepped up to drive the penalty past McKenzie.

However, Town couldn’t build on this and Leighton scored a flattering fourth goal in the 86th minute when Fredericks ran across the edge of the area before curling in a shot into the far corner of the net.

Town host their first League game of the season when new-boys Malvern Town are the visitors tonight,7.45pm.