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