AFC Stoneham 0 Bashley 2
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