Thornbury Town 2-0 Highworth Town Res
By Mike Markham
A harsh lesson!
By Chris Ayres
Highworth Town Reserves faced a tough tie away at Division One West side, Thornbury Town in the Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup. With the hosts beating Longlevens AFC from the Premier Division a week earlier, it was always going to be a hard game.
After a poor result against Moreton Rangers last week, gaffer Chris Ayres was looking for a reaction from his side. The boys started the game brightly and were playing some lovely football and after just 8 minutes, a well taken free kick from Harry Ayres was bound for the top corner before a top class save from Kurtis Parkin the Thornbury keeper was tipped round the post.
Highworth continued to dominate the game and more chances came and went as Ayres and Max Slinn both pulled good chances wide and a shot from the edge of the box by Dan Grieve was well held by the keeper too.
On the stroke of half time some great football between Jord Clark and Gareff Roque led to a Clark shot being blocked only to fall to Max Slinn 10 yards out and his well struck volley was acrobatically saved by the Thornbury keeper to send the sides in level at the break.
The second half got under way and Thornbury came out all guns blazing after probably having a half-time roasting from comfortably being second best in the first half.
This was a much more equal half with both sides playing some good football although not as many chances being created.
Highworth fell behind after 63 minutes when a cross-cum-shot was deflected in to his own net by the unfortunate Ayres. Assistant gaffer Ross Adams helped motivate the boys after this unfortunate goal and the lads rallied well and kept the pressure up in search of what would be a deserved equaliser.
But as time ticked on and we pushed more and more men forward, we were inevitably caught on the break and in the 91st minute, Thornbury scored their second goal to kill the tie.
After a 2-0 defeat which was very harsh on us following a very good performance, it was nice of our hosts to recognise how well we’d played and saying how very unlucky we were to lose. The boys have now set the bar, with Chris Ayres and Ross Adams saying this is the level we need to play to week in week out.