CCL Centenary Cup Quarter Final

Thornwell Red & White B 2 Tintern Abbey 4 (AET) 2-2 at 90 minutes

TWO goals in extra time clinched Tintern’s place in the semi-final after a match that had everything, writes Bob Cypher.

Super strikes, a dismissal, a stand-in goalkeeper, windy weather, a great comeback from 2-0 down and two late goals to seal victory.

Both sides started slowly, wasting good chances early on.

Abbey midfielder Taka Yamagata caught the eye with some clever touches while Nathan Morgan and Keiran Patterson were always keen to test the home defence.

Abbey took the lead when Morgan stabbed home Rob Davies’ free kick and increased their lead before the break with Patterson’s penalty.

The spot-kick was awarded for a foul by Matt Divers on Morgan and Divers, who had already been booked, was shown a second yellow and sent off.

Reduced to 10 men and 2-0 down at the start of the second half, Thornwell had a mountain to climb, especially after their keeper Jordan Doyle was injured and had to be replaced by Gareth Jones.

Doyle had made a number of good saves and Jones had a baptism of fire when Abbey were awarded another penalty which Stuart Williams ballooned over the bar.

The let-off saw the home side begin to dominate and they reduced the deficit thanks to a thunderous 30-yard free kick by Rob Wood.

To their credit, Tintern stood firm and made chances at the other end without being able to add to their score.

But they were rocked back when Kenny Vidler rose highest at the near post to head home the equaliser and take the tie into extra time.

It was still anyone’s game but Williams drove home a long-range free kick to match Woods' earlier effort and the impressive Patterson added his second to clinch it.

Tintern’s director of football Martin Woodford was delighted with the result.

“I thought it was a fantastic match and a great advert for the league,” he said

“Credit to Thornwell, they did really well to come back from 2-0 down with 10 men and when they levelled it could have gone either way.

“But we have some young players who have joined us from Garden City Juniors and they are fitting in really well.

“Taka Yamagata is showing a lot of class at a young age and I think the future looks good for Abbey.”

Thornwell’s Terry Woodward wished Tintern good luck in the semi-final.

“It wasn’t a great result but we played pretty well considering we had 10 men for so long,” he said.

“I thought we edged it on chances but it's all about putting it in the net and we didn't do that.

“We are grateful to Gareth Jones for taking the goalkeeper’s jersey after Jordan was injured.

“All the best to Tintern, they were much improved from the times we played them this season.”

The only other cup tie to survive the weather was Caldicot Town’s 6-0 win over Chepstow Athletic on Caldicot Leisure Centre’s 3G pitch. The postponed ties will be rearranged later.