THORNBURY Town were made to pay for a poor first-half as they missed the chance to ease their relegation fears with a 3-1 defeat at fellow strugglers Hereford Lads Club.

Two goals down at the break, an improved second-half showing saw Thorns halve the deficit through Harry Brock, but Lads Club added a late third to condemn the visitors to defeat.

With both teams locked on 22 points going into the contest, it was all set up to be a tight affair as Thorns included Luke Garrett from the reserves in their starting XI against a Hereford team who gave three debuts to new signings themselves.

Lads Club took the lead midway through the half when James Hancocks got his first of the afternoon with a low drive.

A rare Thornbury foray forward saw Fraser Moss attempt a long-distance shot that almost caught keeper Ross Grimshaw out, only for him to recover well.

The hosts then doubled their lead shortly before the break. They nicked the ball high up the pitch as Thorns struggled to play their way out from the back and winger Levi Ellis took full advantage.

Thornbury made three changes at the break with Jim Brock being joined by 17-year-old duo Stanley Wyatt and Dan-Lewis Bamana from off the bench.

It made an instant difference, as an attack in the first minute of the second half set out Thornbury's intent before Harry Brock halved the deficit when he broke through to finish after brother Jim's through ball.

Lads Club managed to hold off any further Thornbury attacks and Jamie Cuthberton's free-kick forced Clark into a save at the other end.

Grimshaw was the hero for the hosts as he kept their lead intact when Brock went in search of his and Thornbury's second only to be denied by the shot-stopper.

Chances and time was running out for Thornbury, and it was the home team who would add to the score line. 

After Ollie Guinane had struck the post, a mistake at the back allowed Hancocks in for the second time in the afternoon and he slotted past Clark to seal three points for the hosts and leave Thornbury with nothing.