Cowes Sports 1 Bashley 1
This was a somewhat disappointing result for Bashley who arrived with high hopes of a three-point plunder. Any thoughts, however, of easy pickings were quickly dispersed when Cowes scored from a corner within the opening minute when a ‘red jetlagged’ Bash defence gifted Ash Brett a free header.
Minutes later, with the visitors still adjusting to their surroundings, Yachtsmen’s Gareth Bricknall was granted acres of space and with only the keeper to beat, shot wide. Then, on the sixth minute, Bashley drew level and the game became a contest. A deft pass from Harry McGrath working in from the right was met by the encroaching Harry Morgan whose instant reaction sent the ball across the face of the goal to lodge in the far corner of the net leaving keeper Ed Hatt well and truly ‘Harried’.
Play was now even; Cowes had several chances, but Dan Thompson and Brad Morris mounted an unbreachable last line of defence. Bashley also found penetration hard and frustration was beginning to mount, then minutes before halftime opportunity beckoned when they were awarded a penalty. McGrath broke through the home defence and Hatt’s dive for the ball also upended the Bash no. 9. Lewis Ross’s fierce drive towards the top corner was intercepted by the athleticism of Hatt whose reputation as a shot stopper was there for all to see.
The second half like the first started with the ball in the net, unfortunately this time Jamie Webber’s effort was judged as being offside. Soon after, a perfectly timed header by Hugh Dathan from a corner was another victim of Hatt’s goalkeeping ability, this time a jack-in-the-box leap to tip over.
Ross atoned for his penalty miss with a body-stretching goal line clearance that prevented a home winner whilst interplay between Jack Smith and Morgan from midfield to box deserved better. Ollie Smith and Harry Bunce came on to add to Bash pressure but in the last minute it was the Yachtsman who nearly sailed away with three points when Jimmy Wyke was presented with an open goal: fortunately for Bash the ball preferred cloud spotting.
Bashley: Collins, Smith J, Thompson, Strickland, Morris, Morgan (6′), Dathan, Ross, McGrath, Whiteley, Webber
Used Subs: Smith O, Bunce