Rovers Advance To Second Round Of Floodlit Cup In Tense Fashion

Tuffley Rovers vs Thornbury Town Floodlit Cup 23/24

Sammie Hicks scored the crucial penalty as Tuffley Rovers beat Thornbury Town 5-4 on penalties on Tuesday night at Glevum Park, after drawing the 90-minutes 2-2.

Connor Walters put the Rovers 1-0 up in the 17th minute with his second bite at the cherry nestling past Rudy Stilgoe, the Thornbury Town goalkeeper, in the bottom left corner after his first attempt was blocked. 

The home side doubled their lead 12 minutes later as Yeshaya Lomotey slotted home after a brilliant first touch that set himself up perfectly to score his first goal of the season.

The visitors pulled one back 10 minutes before the break after a massive deflection wrong-footed Robin Hoffland, handing the Thornbury debutant Bailey Croome his first goal for the away team. 

Disaster struck again for Tuffley in the 90th minute. A ball by Joe McLaughlin floated over Hoffland’s head, bounced off the crossbar, dropped onto the unfortunate Callum McGuirk and rolled into the open goal to level the game 2-2.

Thornbury Town were forced into a change at Half-Time as their goalkeeper, Stilgoe, was injured in the first half. The replacement, defender Rich Lee, became Thornbury’s seventh different man to put the gloves on this season.

As the two teams entered penalties, it was Thornbury who took first. The team in white, scored their first penalty comfortably.

Liam Smith, the captain after Henry Birkett was substituted, was the first to step up from Tuffley. He showed why he was the first penalty-taker as he buried his penalty confidently to level the score.

Thornbury kept the scoring going as they re-took the lead in the shootout. And the responsibility to keep the scores even fell to Tomos Shyamapant. 

Tomos kept his cool and tucked his penalty into the bottom left corner, leaving the Thornbury goalkeeper with no chance. 2-2 in the shootout.

Thornbury’s third penalty-taker stepped up, and Robin Hoffland shuffled to his right and made a good, strong save, giving Tuffley Rovers the advantage in the shootout.

Yesh found the back of the net for the second time in the game as he scored Tuffley’s third penalty to put the hosts up in the shootout.

From then on, all penalties were good from both teams and penalties from Griffin and Sammie Hicks wrapped up a good win to advance to the second round of the Floodlit Cup where we will face Slimbridge AFC on Tuesday, December 19. 

The team was much changed for the game, leaving many first-teamers rested for the big clash on Saturday versus Fairford Town. Several noticeable absences included; Jake Rhodes, Warren Mann, Mark Pritchett, Luke Merchant, Herbert McCauley, Alex Barrett. 

Manager Neil Mustoe will also return to the sideline on Saturday for the league fixture as he served a stadium ban tonight, leaving Liam O’Neill in charge for the evening.

A magnificent performance from defender, Ellis Clifford, earned him the Man of The Match award in only his second-ever appearance for the first team.