Thorney FC’s transformation from zeroes to heroes is almost complete.
The villagers looked dead and buried 18 months ago when playing 12 miles away from their home village and struggling to recruit players left them bottom of the Peterborough Premier Division.
But the efforts of manager Tom Florence and his helpers kept the club alive and now that hard graft has been rewarded with a first cup final in the club’s top-flight era.
Thorney will tackle hot favourites Netherton United in the final of the President’s Shield after a remarkable 3-2 win over Holbeach United Reserves at their adopted home of Campbell Drive, Gunthorpe last weekend. Netherton crushed top-flight title rivals Moulton Harrox 6-1 in the other semi-final.
Thorney were 2-0 down, failed to convert two spot-kicks, but ended up winning 3-2 after Sam Rayner scored in the last minute of extra-time. Goerge Edwards, direct from a free-kick, and substitute John Yambasu also scored.
“It was dramatic stuff,” Florence stated. “We didn’t play at all in the first-half, but it was one way traffic from then on and even Holbeach recognised we deserved to win. It’s a great achievement to get to a final after where we were at the start of last season.
“It’s been a real headache for us, especially with the situation at our own home ground in Thorney, but the lads have stuck together and the turnaround has been brilliant.
“We targetted a top six finish which we think we will get and a good run in a cup. We will start as underdogs against Netherton, but we don’t mind that. We have a strong team now capable of giving anyone a game, especially as we are picking up better players like John Yambasu from Potton, who you can tell has played at a higher level.”
All Peterborough & District League games scheduled for tomorrow (March 3) have been postponed.