BCAFL Division One

Castle Green FC 5-4 Thornbury Baptist Church FC

Thornbury succumbed to a third league defeat in three in a traditional epic encounter with Castle Green at Whitehall on Saturday, writes James Cooke.

Thornbury led on nine minutes when James Hancox exchanged passes with Stu Kelly in midfield and then Hancox squared for skipper John Cordle to fire the ball into the far corner. The lead was quickly squandered however when Castle Green were gifted a free header from a corner to level the scores just five minutes later.

Stu Kelly has started the season in imperious form for Thornbury and again he was the controlling force in midfield. An exquisite pass for Cordle deserved a goal but the skipper was unable to finish so coolly at the second time of asking and Thornbury had to wait until the 36th minute to regain the lead. A Phil Loadwick throw-in set Jimmy Cooke free down the left and he squared for James Hancox to arrive at the near post and slam home the second goal.

The game turned from the moment the second half kicked off though as a long ball downfield beat the head of Dexter Foord and the onrushing centre-forward fired home past Jordan Sotiris in goal for Thornbury on debut. Sotiris made some big saves but was left with no chance when the same Castle Green striker made it 3-2, but this time it was Thornbury’s turn to respond. Hancox was involved again as his deep cross was headed home by Cooke diving-in at the far post for 3-3. Chances were coming at both ends as Thornbury pushed two up top in search of a winner but they were suckered by an absolute screamer from Luke Gibbons whose 30-yard effort flew in off the bottom of the crossbar. Minutes later it was 5-3 and the game looked all over, but somehow Thornbury responded again. First Will Ponting hit the post with deft chip and then when he forced a corner on 86 minutes James Hancox delivered deep to the far post and Jimmy Cooke again headed powerfully into the bottom corner of the goal. It could have been 5-5 when a mazy run from John Cordle finished with a shot straight at the keeper and so Thornbury were again left defeated by the margin of a single goal.