Lydney cruise into next round after slow start
Town ease into next round
[bLydney entertained the Development side of last years Premier Division Champions Thatcham Town in the 1st Round of the Bluefin Sports Supplementary Cup. The visitors play in Division Two East so Lydney were hoping not to be the victims of a cup upset. With leading scorer Lewis Thompson unavailable Jake Morgan was drafted in to partner Declan Morley-Lyne up front while in the continued absence of Sam Elliott & Jack Rutter Cheltenham Town loan signing Tom Handley partnered Newport County loanee Lucas Murray in the back four meaning the defensive line up had a youthful average age of just 19.
Thatcham started strongly and after only 3 minutes a run by Jordan Goater saw him fire a tremendous shot from 25 yards over keeper Richard Thomas’s head and into the net. The set back seemed to knock Lydney out of their stride and they struggled to find any rhythm in their play. The youthful visiting side were battling for everything and keeper Liam Harris was in fine form denying everything that Lydney threw at them. With half time fast approaching Lydney forced a corner and Lewis Halfords cross into the box found Tom Handley to power home his first goal for the club and ensuring the team talk at the break was less damning.
After the break Lydney came out firing on all cylinders and a Lewis Halford free kick into the box found Handley but this time his header went just wide. On 52 minutes Halford broke through on goal but his shot went across goal eluding everyone. 5 minutes later Lydney edged ahead when a cross into the box was headed into the path of Morley-Lyne who had little problem in ushering the ball into the net. Lydney were now in full flow and 2 minutes later another Halford free kick found Lucas Murray who headed goal wards but keeper Harris dived full stretch to palm the ball around the post.
Harris was again in action from the corner when he made a point blank save from a Jordi Sheen effort. The keeper was again in the thick of the action when Sheen broke into the box only to be denied by Harris. Lydney’s non-stop pressure was finally rewarded on 65 minutes when Morley-Lyne broke down the right and his cross found Halford in the box to side foot home. 2 minutes later Halford again broke into the box but keeper Harris was again on hand with a point blank save. On 69 minutes Lydney made the tie safe when Morley-Lyne won the ball and powered into the box where Harris despite getting his hand to the ball was unable to stop it going over the line. With the game all but over Lydney rang the changes with Frankie Johnson, Keelan Hamblett & Matty Board all coming on. Further chances came and went but in the end Lydney ran out 4-1 winners.
Despite their struggles in the first half Lydney’s 2nd half performance certainly gave them a deserved victory. For Thatcham keeper Liam Harris was certainly their man of the match and the visitors must be commended for the way they kept going despite only having a bare eleven players.
For Lydney 17 year old centre back Tom Handley certainly looked composed at the back and must have impressed the Wigan Athletic scout in attendance. Lydney have a rare break next weekend before travelling to Bishops Cleeve on Tuesday week to face the Mitres in the Floodlit Trophy. With Cleeve already having beaten Lydney comprehensively twice this season they will certainly have their work cut out. This is then followed by stern tests on the last 2 Saturday home games of the year when league leaders Brackley Town Saints and 3rd placed Ascot United are the visitors to the Rec.
Report by RS