Malvern Town 6 Thornbury Town 1

PLAYED at Malvern Town’s new facilities, more akin to Southern League than Hellenic, Thornbury failed to get to grips with the pace and strength of the home side who made the most of the advantage of playing games on their 3G surface, writes Mark Franklin.

Roared on by more than 200 fans, Malvern didn’t need to wait long for the breakthrough when a corner was cleared to the edge of the box in the fifth minute and George Hayes found the top corner, giving Kurtis Parkin no chance.

Thornbury did have spells in the final third, but were reluctant to shoot at times and with the final ball failing to find the feet of top scorers Craig Lancastle and Harry Brock.

Just after the half-hour, Kyonn Evans finished well to double Malvern’s lead and just when Thornbury thought they would still be in the game in the second half with the wind behind them, the league’s top scorer Matt Turner made it three-nil on the stroke of half-time.

After the break Thornbury pushed an extra man into midfield, but the damage had already been done and with further goals either side of the hour-mark the tie as a contest was over.

Things didn’t get any easier for the visitors when Toby Bennett was shown red for an off the ball incident spotted by the assistant referee and substitute Matt Fusco made it six with 10 to go.

Thornbury didn’t give up though, battling to the end and scored a consolation goal in added time when Lancastle’s free-kick from 35 yards found the bottom corner to give the visiting fans something to cheer.

Thornbury have the chance to bounce straight back with a place in the quarter-final at stake in a GFA Challenge Trophy tie away at Cribbs FC Reserves on Wednesday (7.45pm ko) followed by a home league match against Moreton Rangers on Saturday