Monmouthshire Windows

East Gwent League, Division 1

Thornwell Red & White 1 Caldicot Castle 1

A DISPUTED first-half penalty earned Caldicot Castle A the single point needed to clinch the title at Thornwell, writes Bob Cypher.

The home side were leading thanks to a neat finish by Tobias Prettyjohn when referee Carl Arthur spotted a push on a Castle man as a corner kick was swung into the area and pointed to the spot.

Castle skipper Craig McCluskey slammed his spot-kick past Thornwell keeper Jordan Doyle to level.

After half-time both teams created chances, hit the woodwork at either end of the pitch but neither was able to clinch victory and Castle’s players celebrated at the final whistle.

League officials decided it would be kinder to their hosts if the trophy and winners’ medals were awarded at Castle’s HQ and after receiving his medal, player-manager Joe O’Brien agreed the game hadn’t exactly been a classic.

“Not a great game but the boys showed the fight to bring it home.

“We knew we could do it but we made hard work of it.

“Thornwell went ahead but we showed composure from the penalty spot to level.

“Craig (McCluskey) has shown real character the last two months and kept his cool to find the top corner.

“We spent most of the game defending and the defence was outstanding and they barely gave them a chance.

“Andrew Skuse rattled our crossbar but apart from that we had them pretty much covered.

“We are happy to retain the league and next season we’ll go again and try and get into the Gwent County League to give ourselves another test.

“It's been a great season, a very competitive one and we’ve had difficult fixtures against Caldicot Town, Undy, Rockfield, Tunnel,

Tavern and Thornwell, and having more decent teams to compete with has made this one a little more sweeter than last year’s.”