Hellenic League - Division One West

Thornbury Town 4

Malmesbury Victoria 2

THORNBURY started the new decade with a bang, beating promotion rivals Malmesbury in a six-goal thriller, including a Craig Lancastle hat-trick, writes Mark Franklin.

Captain Toby Bennett was back after his one week ban with Joe Guest missing out for the same reason and Town reverted to 4-4-2, Pete Fowler making his first start of the season at the heart of defence.

Things didn’t quite go to plan when Malmesbury scored after only six minutes - a quality chipped ball found a forward whose cross was met by a shot that hit the post only for the rebound to be slotted home by Kyle Witt.

Both sides had a couple of chances before on the quarter hour a weak clearance was headed back into the danger area by Wormwell and Lancastle rounded the keeper to net parity.

Halfway through the half Malmesbury re-took the lead with a header from Jamie Packer and things would have been a lot worse if Kurtis Parkin hadn’t produced the save of the match ten minutes later. As it was, on 40 minutes, Brock rescued a long ball, laid it back to Tom Webb whose cross was headed home by Lancastle for his second equaliser.

A few minutes later a challenge on Nathan Sage saw the physio on and after lengthy treatment he was unfortunately off with a knee impact injury to be replaced by Mark Viner.

The resulting 10th minute of stoppage-time saw Lancastle’s shot find its way through a crowded box and into the bottom corner for his hat-trick and a slightly undeserved 3-2 lead at half-time.

The second half was just as action packed but without the goals – Thornbury had one disallowed for offside after Lancastle’s free-kick came back off the crossbar.

A couple of Bennett chances went begging and Brock failed to take advantage of a one-on-one with the keeper but on 67 minutes Thornbury doubled their lead when Lancastle’s through ball was latched onto by Brock who this time made no mistake.

In the last minute a Franklin run and pull back found Bennett who failed to find the target and once again ended the game with more yellow cards than goals.

With league leaders Hereford Pegasus only managing a point at a rejuvenated Tytherington, the gap is now down to 8 points but with 5 games in hand.

Saturday sees a trip to Malvern Town in what is a top of the table clash in terms of least points dropped.