A COLD, drizzly February day saw the old local derby rivals square up again for the second time this season. Only this time, one person was very prominently missing as the home side were without their number one supporter, the late Bill Viddler.
Bill was ever-present on the Thornwell touch-line giving out advice to anyone who wanted it and many who didn't but he is much missed by everyone at the club. A minute's silence was held in his honour and black armbands were worn by the home side. It was also significantly Bill's son Kenny's return after having his ankle broken playing for the 1sts before Christmas.
Both teams fielded a number of good up-and-coming youngsters with each making space for a veteran warhorse - Colin Jeffries for Mathern and Mark Wilson for Red & White.
Thornwell were determined to avoid the tonking they received down at Eddie Hayward Park a few weeks before when Mathern hit seven goals so this time, organised by Luke Armyman, they set their back-line solid with Wilson, Ian Bubble-Jones and Anthony Viddler providing extra support.
Both teams had several chances before Mathern sprung the offside trap and nicked the ball past Thornwell keeper Jack Hopkins. The Red & White hit back with a route one move from the back which saw Leon Ivin notch another of his trademark wonder-strikes past Mathern keeper Mark Palmer.
Half-time saw respective Managers Tubbs and Jones re-energise their sides. With Thornwell missing the suspended Jack Stewart, it was left to Paul Traski to try to fill his boots, but it wasn't to be as Mathern took advantage of an injury to Johnathan Plum which saw the home-side reduced to ten men.
The stage was now set for veteran ex Red & White star Jefferies to pull the strings of his young midfield and Thornwell were soon sucker-punched by a superb long-range solo strike by the big Mathern full-back. Once again, Jeffries orchestrated another onslaught onto the Thornwell goalmouth and soon it was 3-1.
With just pride left to play for, both teams saw out the game in fine sporting style befitting of Bill Viddler's memory.