Three-goal Bashley Reward Record Crowd

Bashley 3 Brockenhurst 1
Wessex Premier

Played in front of a league-record 339 spectators, this local derby was everything expected and, for ninety minutes, fears of Covid-19 were left at the turnstile.

Brockenhurst made sure of that by scoring in the opening minute when Freddie Bullard was bestowed free passage to goal before most of the onlookers, including the Bashley defence, had settled.

An embarrassed Bashley sought immediate retribution and both Harry McGrath and Harry Bunce went close with early runs at goal before Conor Whiteley equalised from the spot after Lewis Aimson was brought down following a Bunce corner.

Just six minutes played, and the colours had been struck. Bash, with sun-tanned Harry Morgan, returned virus free from a cruise, was the powerhouse behind the attacking trio of Whiteley, Bunce and McGrath but despite all their front of goal dominance they found the Badger backline, marshalled by the experienced Pat Wilson, well dug in; whilst a steady supply of crosses from the flanks went unrewarded due to poor aerial interception.

It was not all Bash and the visitors were dangerous on the break and had a good goal chance stopped only by a Jack Smith yellow card tackle. Before the break, Whiteley hobbled off to be replaced by Jamie Webber.

With the game still in the balance, both teams exchanged early forays, with Webber joining the mercurial Bunce in tormenting the back-peddling Brockenhurst defence, while at the other end ex-Bash favourite, Mitch Speechley-Price, hit the post and later headed wide when gifted an open goal.

It was Bashley in the end, and especially Morgan who broke the impasse. His blistering run on goal, following a bout of mouth-watering interplay, was blocked at the vital moment by a Wilson tackle; then, after latching onto a precision pass from Brad Morris another muscular run followed, but this time there was no one to stop his rapier, net-bound, shot.

Webber working the left flank in partnership with Aimson was calling the shots and he was part of a build-up that included Morgan and McGrath that ended with a pass to the edge of the area into the flight-path of the advancing Lewis Ross whose twenty-yard cracker across the face of the goal found the net and nailed the match for rampant Bash.

The final 20 minutes saw bench changes and was dominated by an urgent McGrath desperate but unable to add to his goal tally.

Bashley: Gravett, Smith, Thompson, Strickland, Aimson, Bunce, Morris, Ross, Morgan, Whiteley, McGrath
Used Subs: Webber, Cooper, Betts
Att: 329

Watersiders Sink Battling Bash

Blackfield and Langley 3 Bashley 0
Semi-Final Southampton Senior Cup

Bashley, already with the scalps of Southern League Hartley Witney and Sholing on their belt, found Southern Premier Blackfield and Langley a bridge too far.

Played on the neutral ground of AFC Totton, Bashley found themselves a goal down after just three minutes when speedy wing-forward Shaquille Gwengwe left all standing before drifting inside to blast home.

Unperturbed, Bashley fought back and a shot from Conor Whiteley was scrambled round the post by keeper Lewis Noice. Bash fell further behind when Luke Rae was left with time and space to score from close range and the writing was on the wall.

To their credit Bashley, now settled into their passing game, fought back with Jack Smith forcing a corner which gave goal-scoring opportunities when not cleared; an excellent build-up created by Lewis Aimson finished with a twenty-yard drive from Harry Bunce that was just too high.

Bunce was again in action some minutes later when, after a mazy run, he was brought down on the edge of their box; unfortunately, the free-kick was wasted. Just before halftime, the irrepressible Bunce had the ball in the net, but this possible game-changer was flagged offside.

The hopes of Bashley disappeared when, within minutes of the re-start, confusion in the Bash defence ended with keeper Dan Kempson taking out a player as well as the ball. Pat Suraci made no mistake from the spot.

To their credit, Bash took this in their stride and continued to press and Harry McGrath made the bar shake when meeting a hard goalmouth cross from Bunce. Bashley continued to press forward until the end, Lewis Aimson had a long shot well saved; Lewis Ross drove forward but scuffed his shot and Jamie Webber, on as a late substitute, saw his shot go wide after cutting in from the right.

Moments later, when cutting in again his short, sharp pass was met by Lewis Ross only for his effort to be blocked on the goal-line. This Bash forward press also meant breakaway chances for the razor-sharp Watersiders, but Dan Kempson was solid and spectacular in keeping the door shut. Bashley fought hard throughout, a display well appreciated by their number of travelling supporters present but the hurdle was too high and B&L worthy winners.

Bashley: Kempson, Taylor, Thompson, Strickland, Aimson, Morris, Ross, Whiteley, Bunce, Smith, McGrath
Used Sub: Webber
Att: 100

Bashley Disappoint

Bashley 0 Horndean 2
Wessex Premier

This was an un-typical performance from Bashley against a hungry Horndean who made light of the greasy conditions with a display of robust football: this despite losing wing-forward Ben Anderson after just two minutes with a leg injury.

The play was feisty from the start with a vocal Horndean taking full advantage of the referee’s leniency. It was the home team however that looked the most likely to score at the start when Harry McGrath, put through by Lewis Ross, traversed the face of the goal only to find space to shoot at a premium but, having had his first effort on goal returned, tried again this time forcing a quick reaction save from keeper Lloyd Thomas.

From the resulting corner, Lewis Aimson almost deposited the ball into the top corner of the net with a high lob. That was about it from the home side as Horndean now took control. It was, therefore, no surprise when Alfie Lis, left alone on the right of the box, found himself the recipient of a high cross and reacted with vigour giving Bash keeper Harry Gravett little chance.

Other opportunities fell to Greg Peel who when given a free run on goal managed somehow to put his shot past the post and soon after repeated the scenario, this time sending the ball over the bar. Bash responded and, in what could have been a turning point, McGrath was brought down on the edge of the box when running free on goal. A yellow card was given whilst to all it was a blatant red card offence. The resulting free-kick was wasted, and the visitors escaped unscathed.

Bashley attacked from the start of the second half and a foraging move down the right involving Billy Cooper. Ross and Aimson ended with Conor Whiteley hooking wide; whilst at the other end, an over-head kick from Bobby Scott rose above the bar.

After sixty-five minutes of play, Scott had better luck when on hand to tap home following a hard pass across the face of goal from Peel. Bash responded but never looked like penetrating a well-drilled Horndean backline.

Despite making changes and throwing everything forward, Dean keeper Thomas was more spectator than a participant. In the final minute of the game, it was left to defender Aimson to belatedly show the way when his hard shot beat the keeper but hit the bar.

Bashley: Gravett, Smith, Thompson, Strickland, Aimson, Morris, Cooper, Ross, Webber, Whiteley, McGrath
Used Sub: Sims
Att: 132

Photo: Lewis Aimson who hit the bar

Bashley take a point in a ding-dong battle

Solent University 3 Bashley 3
Wessex Premier

This was typical hard-fought game fought in untypical times with the recent weather causing the game to be reversed to Bashley Road and with a virus precautionary introduction that left players and officials in confusion of how to greet with hand shaking banned.

Bashley the best of possible starts with a goal timed at 45 seconds; Conor Whiteley reacted first to a ball played hopefully forward to run through a still settling defence and introduce the ball to the net passed a surprised Scholar keeper.

It soon became obvious that despite the early goal this was to be no easy jaunt for Bashley with attractive football being nullified by close marking and erratic refereeing.

After 10 minutes of hard play, the University netted only to be judged offside and then awarded a free kick instead nearer the halfway line. A decision that was hard for players and spectators to understand. The Scholars were proving a handful and a late period of sustained attacking found Harry Gravett, standing in for the absent Dan Kempson, in excellent form.

The half ended with Whitely being sin-binned but nobody was sure why. Solent University took full advantage of Whiteley’s ten-minute rest by equalising within two minutes of the restart thanks to the quick reaction of their captain. Luke Mitchell.

Bashley responded almost immediately when Lewis Ross was unlucky to see his shot of great power and beauty cannoned off the crossbar. Two minutes later he had his reward when striking home from the spot after Billy Cooper had been brought down in the area.

Play was now even and fiercely competitive and, after some more on-field confusion that saw Jack Smith carded for being fouled, Solent drew level when Colin Beasley fired in from close range.

With ten minutes remaining Bash took the lead when Harry Bunce wormed his way through a packed defence to find Whiteley who swivelled and netted in classic style. Bashley’s lead lasted just two minutes when more confusion led to another sinbin and John Wallace took advantage of the perplexed Bash defenders to level the scores.

Bashley pressed hard as time ran-out with a Whiteley shot from a Ross assist being tipped over the bar and a Smith drive from distance being just heart-stopping wide. An exciting if confusing game and a fair result.

Bashley: Gravett, Webber, Thompson, Strickland, Smith, Morris, Cooper, Ross, Bunce, Whiteley, McGrath
Used Sub: Edwards
Att: 77

Photo: Two goal Conor Whiteley

Bashley run out of luck

Alresford Town 2 Bashley 1
Wessex Premier

This much-anticipated game involving the top two in the recent form-table was played out on wind-exposed Arlebury Park; conditions that favoured long ball over-controlled build-up.

Bashley, without leading scorer Harry McGrath, were first into their stride forcing two early corners and could have opened the scoring when a shot from Harry Bunce, following a determined solo run from midfield, was blocked in the box.

Alresford responded immediately and an Ollie Dennett free-kick from the edge of the area, the result of a Lewis Ross sliding tackle that took man as well as ball, found keeper Dan Kempson on top form.

Moments later, both were in action again when Kempson was out quickly to thwart Dennett’s attempted strike at goal.

Bash pressed hard before halftime and should have taken the lead when Conor Whiteley and Bunce, after collaborating on poor Magpie clearance, ran unchallenged in parallel formation toward the unguarded goal; Bunce instead of shooting, passed with polite consideration to Whiteley, who by now unbalanced, scuffed wide from three yards.

Bashley opened the second half with Bunce and Whiteley once more in the thick of it, but despite goal-area action Magpie keeper, Matt Fredericks remained untroubled. Alresford responded quickly with Dennett once more in on the action: taking advantage of a poor goal clearance his strike at goal was nullified in ‘half kick’ thanks to a last-minute tackle by the flying Dan Thompson.

Not a man to give up, Dennett later made ground down the left and pulled back the ball to Craig McAllister who, lurking unmarked in front of goal, eagerly accepted this gift to open the scoring after 56 minutes.

Seven minutes later and the home team scored a second. It was a goal the unfortunate Kempson will want to forget. A shot from the right by Duarte Martins, destined to miss the near post, was collected by the diving Kempson who on hitting the floor somehow managed to knock the ball back into the goalmouth leaving the ever-present Dennett to tap in.

Bashley fought back and were rewarded when young Taylor Edwards, hot off the bench, broke down the right and after some interplay the ball ran loose in the area and was hooked with some venom into the far corner by Whiteley.

Not to be outdone, his fellow tormentor Bunce then scored when meeting a high cross from the right. Unfortunately for Bashley he met the ball with his raised hand instead of his head and not being a Maradona added a yellow card and not a goal to his match CV.

The game ended in controversy when a goal-bound shot was handled on the Alresford goal line. After consulting the linesman, the referee, much to the displeasure of Bashley and their dedicated following, decided it was accidental.

Bashley: Kempson, Smith, Thompson, Strickland, Webber, Morris, Ross, Morgan, Aimson, Bunce, Whiteley
Used Sub: Taylor
Att: 76

Photo: Bash Scorer Conor Whiteley

League Leaders fall to a Rampant Bashley

AFC Stoneham 0 Bashley 2
Wessex Premier

League Leaders AFC Stoneham playing only their second game in their brand-new FA Complex Stadium attracted a large crowd, including Tony Incenzo from Talk Sport and officials from the Wessex League. They left with only one name on their lips: Bashley.

Bashley, without suspended goal-maker Harry Bunce, filled his creative space by pushing nippy full back Jack Smith into a forward roll and included on the bench new signing Taylor Edwards a sixteen-year old defender from Eastleigh’s Football Academy.

Conditions were far from ideal but despite the driving rain the 3G pitch suited the play of both teams who gave a demonstration of footballing skills without the finishing touch. Bashley were the more threatening with a Harry Morgan attempt from outside the box just off target whilst at the other end Stoneham’s Edu Jimenez wasted a golden chance by slicing wide.

The impasse was broken two minutes into the second half when a cross-ball from Jack Smith was received by Lewis Ross who brought leading scorer Harry McGrath into play and his finely judged shot from twenty yards found the corner of the net. Play was now intensified, with fast flowing football from both sides with the Bashley looking the more dangerous. Conor Whiteley had a chance to increase the lead when put through on goal but was thwarted by the blocking body of keeper Tom-Parker Trott.

The conditions took their first casualty as Lewis Aimson came off with thirty minutes still to go to be replaced By Taylor Edwards for his first taste of senior football and to the delight of the Bashley fans present settled, like an old-hand, into a high-line defensive position.

With nine minutes left to play, Bashley made sure of victory when Harry Morgan’s shot from long range was helped on its way by a diversion that left Parker-Trot helpless. A last minute save from Dan Kempson kept the Bashley sheet clean.

Bashley travel to second placed Alresford on Saturday.

Bashley: Kempson, Webber, Thompson, Strickland, Aimson, Morris, Ross, Morgan, Whiteley, McGrath, Smith
Used Sub: Edwards
Att: 175

Brilliant Bashley in Cup Upset

Sholing 1 Bashley 2
Southampton Senior Cup

Bashley reached the semi-finals of the Southampton Senior Cup with an outstanding all-round performance that earned praise from their Southern League opponents to the extent that Bashley whiz-kid Harry Bunce was named their man of the match.

Bashley went into to overdrive from the whistle with fast attacking football that made a mockery of Saturday’s inept display at Tadley. It was all Bashley and a shot from Sholing’s Lee Wort that hit the bar was a rare occurrence.

An early twin-pronged attack from Harrys, Bunce and McGrath, saw the latter’s shot smothered but the man on fire was frontman Conor Whiteley whose link-up play caused mayhem in the home defence.

After twenty minutes of near dominance, Bashley took the lead in bizarre circumstances. A probing attack by Bashley was halted in midfield and as they fought to gain control Sholing sought to clear; an attempted back-pass was pin-ball-diverted by an arm and then diverted again by another body. Play now virtually stopped as a handball offence was anticipated but the ball thought differently and rolled slowly towards the goal, Ryan Gosney, the Sholing keeper, realised too late and missed with his attempted clearance before the ball found refuge in the net.

A stroke of fortune maybe but there was nothing fortunate about the second goal which was a classic. Moving forward like a well-oiled machine the Bash midfield set up Whiteley who dummied one way and side flicked the ball the other way to Harry Morgan who produced his own magic and his pass back to Whiteley was perfect, as was Whiteley’s fine run and finish.

The Bashley threat continued into the second half with Bunce causing problems amongst the tall Boatman defenders and more was seen of Sholing as they could see the game slipping away but the Bash defence and Keeper Harry Gravett stood firm.

At the other end, a long-range bullet shot from Whiteley found the keeper well positioned. Gravett excelled in keeping out a free-kick dipping towards the top corner. The final ten minutes was extended to fifteen by a series of stoppages and unfortunate decisions.

First Jack Smith was taken out and needed treatment than Bunce appeared to be kicked after being grounded and to the surprise of all, he was given a yellow card. A few minutes later, after having been the victim of a series of niggling fouls, he raised his shirt in a gesture that said: ‘Is this what you are after’! Although he hadn’t taken his shirt off, he was carded for his action and hence a red as it was his second. He left the pitch as his Man of the Match award was being announced!

As the time reached 90 +4 Sholing netted following a goalmouth scramble but too little too late.

Bashley: Gravett, Webber, Smith, Thompson, Strickland, Morris, Ross, Morgan, Whiteley, McGrath, Bunce
Used Subs: Betts, Cooper
Att: 108

Photo: Scorer Conor Whiteley

Bashley fail to Deliver

Tadley Calleva 3 Bashley 0
Wessex Premier

Bashley, arriving fresh from a winning streak of four league games, surprised themselves and their spectators with a display that, considering their present form, was best described as disappointing. A strong Tadley Calleva attacked from the start and it took a brave save from Dan Kempson to stop them from taking an early lead.

The pitch, that on first sight appeared green and flat, hid the wear from earlier game and Bashley’s passing game was an early casualty. The Tadders, more aware of the conditions played a long ball game and took control.

Frustrated and niggled by slightly fussy refereeing Bashley’s contribution to the first half was one Sin Bin and two Yellow Cards. To add to their woes a long goal kick on the cusp of halftime reached the forward run of George Farrelly who swept Tadley into a deserved first half lead.

Little changed at the restart with the home side still in charge of proceedings and it was no surprise when ex-Bash favourite Clive Makoni revived memories of the past with a goal of some class.

Lewis Aimson came on for Tom Betts and after sixty minutes of play Bashley recorded their first shot in the direction of goal. Bashley added two more yellow cards to their collection whilst a confident Tadley enjoyed a game of head-tennis before Callum Sweeney nodded in their third goal.

Bashley emptied the bench but little changed until the 90th minute when Jack Martin the home goalkeeper made his first save of the game!

Not a match to remember and all praise to Tadley Calleva.

Bashley: Kempson, Betts, Smith, Thompson, Strickland, Morris, Ross, Bunce, Whiteley, Morgan, McGrath
Used Subs: Aimson, Webber, Cooper
Att: 58

Photo: Bashley’s busiest player, goalkeeper Dan Kempson

Encore the Three Harrys as Bashley win away at Bashley

Bournemouth FC 1 Bashley 4 (Played at Bashley)
Wessex League Premier

This away fixture was played at Bashley Road due to floodlight problems at Victoria Park, a move of little consequence considering Bashley’s current form, today’s win being their fifth consecutive league victory.

There had been some doubt earlier regarding the pitch but neither side seem concerned by the heavy conditions and football was fast and flowing. Bashley, and especially Harry Bunce, underlined black and gold dominance by attacking from the start and after twelve minutes he added to his recent series of remarkable goals by turning a Brad Morris long pass into a state of art goal that found the far high corner of the net from sixteen swerving yards.

From the restart he scored again but his effort was judged harshly as off-side. Six minutes later and Bash were two-up: a sparkling right-flank interchange between Tom Betts and Bunce was finished by the later whose tempting assist across the face of goal was met and buried by the charging Harry Morgan.

The onslaught continued into the second half with Conor Whiteley excelling in his holding centre forward position. The third goal was another eye-popper as non-Harry, Lewis Ross, crashed down the right and his radar-directed shot flew in off the far post.

The Poppies had by now found their feet and their response paid off when an opportunist high lob from Harvey Lewis glanced the bar and went in behind the back of keeper Dan Kempson.

Harry McGrath killed any thoughts of a Poppy revival when taking full advantage of the craft of Whiteley and Ross to finish with a trademark net-breaking power drive.

With 20 minutes to go Bournemouth applied pressure whilst Bashley held firm and gave their frozen bench a deserved outing.

Bashley: Kempson, Betts, Smith, Thompson, Strickland, Ross, Morris, Bunce, Whiteley, Morgan, McGrath
Used Subs: Beard, Cooper, Webber
Att: 102

Photo: Two of the scorers, Harry Bunce and Harry Morgan

Bunce Sprints Bashley to Victory

Bashley 2 Hamble Club 0
Sydenham Wessex Premier

Bashley’s fourth game in seven days was a severe test of strength and stamina against a powerful Hamble Club eleven. Both sides made cautious starts and action was limited as Bashley’s passing game, set against the long-ball play of Hamble, produced more on-field stoppages than goalmouth thrills. A sixth minute goal-saving, body-block by Bash keeper Dan Kempson and a fierce long shot from Brad Morris being the only first half incidents of note.

Bash found themselves on the back foot straight from the re-start but, despite the height and strength advantage of the Hamble forwards, it was keeper Kempson who bossed the box. The Monk’s right full back, Barry Mason, also made an impression by entering for the worst shot of the year award. Bashley gradually came more into the game but their quick attacking inter-play was put on hold for ten minutes whilst influential captain Morris spent ten minutes enforced penance on the bench.

Like putting a shilling in the slot, the return of Morris ignited the black and gold boiler and fired the engine of wing-wizard Harry Bunce. Skating the length of the right touchline like a greyhound on speed, the sure-footed Bunce cut inside and slipped a short pass to Conor Whiteley who, quickly and cleverly, returned the ball to the young winger who made space before sending a swinging shot high into the far corner of the net.

Bash were now fully charged and minutes later Harry McGrath, following a Whiteley assist, was foiled by a fine save from Hamble Keeper Luke Deacon. Then like an Olympic athlete going for a double gold, Bunce took off from the centre spot and sped arrow-straight toward goal with the opposition a cloud of trailing dust. Deacon standing tall was no more than a finishing tape as the lone runner claimed his double with a cracking finish. Truly remarkable.

The final ten minutes were spent mostly in the Bash half as they defended their two-goal lead whilst the in-form Kempson was equally determined to retain his clean sheet. The final say was however Bashley’s, when Whiteley almost scored in the final second.

Bashley: Kempson, Betts, Smith, Thompson, Strickland, Morris, Ross, Bunce, Morgan, Whiteley, McGrath
Used Sub: Webber
Att: 131