Thackley AFC journeyed to Golcar United in the middle of the week for another NCEL Premier Division encounter. Thackley suffered due to two early goals, resulting in a 2-1 defeat on the away turf. Claridge assumed the striker’s role, taking Greaves’ place, and positioned alongside him were Prata, A. Mitchell, and Donovan. Chippendale was set to miss a significant period due to a ruptured ankle ligament.
Kick-off: Golcar United 0-0 Thackley AFC
The match commenced disastrously as Thackley conceded a goal after just 27 seconds. A pass down the left wing was squared back and after some chaos in the box, Buddy Cox capitalised to score (1-0 – 1 minute). The hosts initiated with swiftness and intensity, and Thackley struggled to rein in Golcar United. The lead was then further extended as Cox once again found himself strategically positioned in the penalty area to convert from close range (2-0 – 10 minutes).
Thackley gradually gained a foothold in the match. In the 17th minute, Hudson attempted a long-range shot which the goalkeeper saved. Thackley began to match the effort and physicality of their opponents, and at the 35-minute mark, A. Mitchell nearly connected with a cross from the left, but unfortunately missed. The first half had proven challenging, leaving Thackley with a substantial task for the second half.
Half-time: Golcar United 2-0 Thackley AFC
During halftime, Greaves and Ellison-Tope were brought on to replace A. Mitchell and Donovan. In the 47th minute, Hudson suffered an elbow blow to the head, but the referee allowed play to continue. Ellison-Tope exhibited a promising run into the box in the 51st minute, but his shot was saved. Golcar United finally received a yellow card for an elbow in the 57th minute. In the 59th minute, Claridge’s attempt was saved after a good setup by Ellison-Tope. Greaves showcased strength on the 70th minute, turning the defender in the box and unleashing a shot that was saved by the goalkeeper. Despite still trailing 2-0, Thackley dominated the second half. This dominance bore fruit when Hudson scored from a Prata corner, reducing the deficit (2-1 – 74 minutes). This resurgence rejuvenated Golcar United, who then pressed with a couple of attempts, all well saved by Wilson. Just as Thackley appeared to be closing in on an equalizer, another setback occurred. Ellison-Tope successfully bypassed his marker, but play was halted, and he was handed a red card, allegedly for a “kick out”. In the 86th minute, McCready came in for Haigh, yet the ten-man Thackley side couldn’t secure the necessary next goal.
Full-time: Golcar United 2-1 Thackley AFC