Thornaby 3 West Allotment Celtic 0 – Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup quarter-final

For 30 minutes West Allotment Celtic managed to delay the inevitable.  There was the merest hint that it might be one of those games where one team (on this occasion Thornaby) dominate the game and then the other team (West Allotment) sneak a goal.

Once Thornaby scored, that merest hint evaporated into the night.  It was a stress-free 90 minutes for the home club, with a disappointing Allotment team failing to make much of an impression on the game.

Thornaby gradually cranked up the pressure leading up to the first goal:

  • A cross flashed across the six-yard box
  • A first-time ball up to Lewis Murphy too far in front of the No. 9, allowing Allotment keeper Sean Korsbo to run off his line to clear it
  • A Joe Posthill cross, headed back by Ian Ward, with Murphy unable to wrap his foot round the ball to get a shot off
  • A Ward header bouncing off the bar
  • Another through ball to Murphy and another one just a little too long, this time Korsbo dashing out of his area to clear it.

The impasse was finally broken in the 32nd minute when Murphy (in the starting 11 as a last-minute replacement for Kyran Clark) manged to head a corner into the net amid a crowded Allotment box.

Just before half-time Thornaby had a shout for a penalty but doubled their lead in the 44th minute when Ben Jackson prodded a ball up to Ward who knocked it back to Kurtis Howes who in turn hit a well-placed, first-time shot just inside the right post.

Thornaby lost none of their dominance or momentum in the second half, with Jamie Poole, Posthill and Jackson running the show in midfield (with Jackson the pick of the bunch for the whole match).  The team effort was helped in no small measure by players prepared to stick their foot in and win most of the 50-50 balls.

Howes got his second of the game by converting a spot kick that he’d won in the 70th minute by being tripped up as he tried to dribble past a couple of defenders in the Allotment box.

Noteworthy Allotment incidents were few and far between and most came in the last 15 minutes.

Their best bit of football was defensively when a long ball was pushed through for Thornaby sub Daniel Chapman to run onto.  Allotment left back Tony Lucas was a yard behind him but managed to overtake the home attacker and clear the danger as Chapman was bearing down on goal.

Their No. 8 Gilberto Chapim was more involved in the second half in the Allotment midfield and a rare shot by Matthew Hayton was blocked by Paul Roddam on the edge of the Thornaby box.

One of the cliché phrases you hear at games is the shout of: “Too easy” by players, managers and coaches.  In this instance, it had more than a ring of truth to it.  Thornaby are in next week’s semi-final draw.

Mike Snowdon