Bashley 0 Horndean 2
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
Photo: Lewis Aimson who hit the bar