Monmouthshire Windows Benevolent Cup Final

Monmouth Town 2 Thornwell Red & White A 1

MOST cup-winners celebrate with bubbly and a few drinks at the club bar, but Monmouth Town - with a number of players under 18 - celebrated with a burger, writes Bob Cypher.

Earlier, Town and Thornwell served up a tasty glimpse of next season with a fine match filled with incident.

A defensive error was the starter, a great penalty save was the main course and when Rory Garey cut the deficit with an excellent shot, the last 20 minutes were a great dessert.

There was an extra side dish with the leading scorers from both divisions - Thornwell’s Wayne Duffield (32 goals) and Town’s Sam Williams (29) - going head to head.

The Division 2 champions Town were gifted their first goal when an attempted clearance fell into Williams’ path to toe-poke his 30th goal in all competitions.

The goal stung Red & White and they pushed on, Duffield and Tobias Prettyjohn prominent in their efforts.

But Town have a commanding keeper in Josh Ellis and they found it impossible to beat him in the first half.

Their task was made even worse when Williams made it 2-0 before the break.

Thornwell came out for the second half with more vigour and determination.

Spurred on by their skipper and their supporters, they created chances but failed to make the early breakthrough needed.

Ellis produced a fine one-handed save to deny Dan Hines and then came the pivotal moment when the keeper produced a man-of-the-match save, turning a penalty away and recovering quickly to deny Andrew Skuse a tap-in.

A succession of free kicks and corners kept Ellis and his defenders busy until skipper Garey made it 2-1 with a shot which zipped past the keeper.

Thornwell had a good shout for a second penalty but their appeals were waved away.

Subs were introduced by both sides as legs grew weary but Town held out to send them and their travelling fans home happy.

“We’ve had most of these players since they were under-six," boss Paul Perrella said later.

“It was an excellent game and a brilliant achievement. I don't think anyone expected us to win.”

Perrella and coach Richard Thorp had spent the previous week instilling belief.

“We wanted a high press using our wing backs to attack quickly and defend solidly, and it paid off.

“I think the boys gave absolutely everything and won admirers from all who watched.

“Another two goals from Sam Williams and our keeper Josh Ellis was superb.

“It’s great to see them grow together and now winning things.

“We celebrated by stopping off and buying them all a MacDonald’s."