Elliot Gardner produced two exquisite finishes to fire Thornbury Town into the semi-finals of the GFA Challenge Trophy.

With Thornbury now guaranteed a league finish well above the relegation zone, in what is their first season in the Hellenic League Premier Division, they could focus all their attention on Tuesday night’s quarter final with Lydney Town at the Mundy Playing Fields.

Harry Brock failed a pre-match fitness test and didn’t even make the bench but Brandon Benjamin, with the help of an injection in his back, passed and started.

Luke Franklin made the starting XI for the first time since an injury in January and clocked up his 250th first team appearance in the process.

Lydney had the better of a scrappy first half, adjusting to the uneven pitch better, but neither side had a clear opportunity.

So, 45 minutes the spectators could forget, but Thornbury were a changed side when they came out after the break.

Although Lydney took the lead slightly against the run of play on the hour mark through a well worked goal finished off by Lewis Thompson, it was Thornbury who saw the majority of the ball from then on.

Toby Bennett replaced Benjamin at this point and five minutes later Franklin found Gardner who cut inside and hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner for the equaliser.

A string of corners then followed and from one of these Harry Walton played it short to the lively Rhys Hodgson who crossed in for Tom Bradley to head into the bottom corner to take the lead.

With ten minutes to play Gardner got his second when he cleverly lobbed the keeper after chasing down a long ball over the top and he then had a chance to complete his hat-trick but couldn’t hit the target.

McKenzie Welsh then produced one of the saves of the season when he managed to keep out a swerving Lydney free-kick but the final goal of the game went to Thornbury when Joe Guest finished in the bottom corner to put the result beyond doubt after some good work by Bennett.

Tom Webb picked up the only booking late on for stopping a Lydney break in what was a quiet night for the officials.

Thornbury will now face AEK Boco from the Western League in the semi-final after they beat Longlevens 5-4 on penalties.

Thornbury return to league action on Saturday when Malvern Town are the visitors.