Thorney reached their first major final as a Peterborough Premier Division club in dramatic fashion on Saturday (February 24).
The villagers, who play in Gunthorpe because of issues with the base at their natural home in Thorney Park, beat Holbeach United Reserves 3-2 in the semi-final of the President’s Shield at Campbell Park thanks to a last-minute extra time goal from Sam Rayner.
But that’s only half the story as Thorney were 2-0 down at half-time and failed to convert two penalties. Adam Scott missed from 12 yards at 2-0 and Sam Donohoe failed from the spot at 2-2 in extra time.
George Edwards and John Yambasu dragged Thorney level before Rayner’s last-gasp intervention.
It was a popular victory as Thorney have won plenty of admiration for battling away and improving despite the problems with their home ground. They were bottom of the Premier Division for half of last season before rallying to finish 15th.
That improvement has continued this season as Thorney are currently sixth.
They will start the final as firm underdogs though as top-flight title favourites Netherton United will provide the opposition. The city side could hardly have been more impressive on Saturday when trouncing title rivals Moulton Harrox 6-1 away from home.
The division’s top scorer Zack Fisher bagged a hat-trick to make it 35 goals in 23 appearances, while Callum Madigan (penalty), Ryan Wood and Karl Gibbs also netted. Netherton have yet to win a trophy under high-profile manager Jon Harrison. This will be their third President’s Shield final in four seasons.
Netherton also retained top spot in the Premier Division as rivals Stamford Lions saw their scheduled fixture at home to Sutton Bridge called off as their opponents couldn’t raise a side.
Peterborough Sports Reserves are fifth after a 3-2 home win over Ketton, a point behind ICA Sports who were held to a 1-1 draw by Warboys.
Whittlesey Athletic have only lost two games all season, but a late start and too many draws have stopped them challenging for honours. Goals from Jack Carter, Dean Giglio and Oliver Long secured a 3-0 win over Langtoft on Saturday.
Leverington pipped Sawtry 2-1 in a mid-table battle.
Saturday, February 24
Premier Division: Langtoft 0, Whittlesey Athletic 3 (Carter, Giglio, Long) Leverington 2 (Clayton, Dale Palmer), Sawtry 1; Peterborough ICA Sports 1, Warboys Town 1 (B. Duncan); Peterborough Sports Res 3 (Holt, Lievins, Kilford), Ketton 2.
President’s Shield: Moulton Harrox 1 (Townsend), Netherton United 6 (Fisher 3, Gibbs, Madigan, Woods); Thorney 3 (Edwards, Rayner, Yambasu) Holbeach Res.