Bashley 7 Shaftesbury 2
Memories of last Saturday’s home defeat were quickly erased with hattricks from twin strikers Harry McGrath and Cameron Beard supported by the determined mood of a rampant Bashley out to make amends.
In a frantic start, Bashley making light of the heavy conditions were two up in five minutes. Following fast, accurate approach play a Harry Morgan shot on the turn from just inside the box was only partly saved leaving the lurking Cameron Beard to net the return from close range.
Shaftesbury’s keeper Harrison Bruton was given no respite, as straight from the re-start he succumbed to a Harry McGrath ground-hugging drive that zipped across the greasy turf and evaded his grasping hands.
Bashley continued to dominate with a Beard goal-bound effort well saved so it came as a surprise when the visitor’s alert Jack Mitchell poached the ball from the home defence and was left free to score.
The Rockies’ resurgence was to last just three minutes. A cross-field ball from Billy Cooper started a break that ended with McGrath creating space before rocketing the net from 14 yards.
Three minutes later, after being put in by a Beard-assist, McGrath repeated the process to claim a twenty-five-minute hattrick.
With eight minutes to go until halftime, playmaker Harry Morgan scored Bashley’s fifth goal with an unstoppable drive from another Beard assist.
Five minutes after the re-start, a chastised Shaftesbury pulled one back through a Matt Hindle breakaway and for the next five minutes Bash keeper Dan Kempson was kept busy and the home fans nervous.
Then the game’s rudder was retaken by Beard who busts through a high defensive line to slide, slip and muscle his way down half the pitch before willing his half-hit-shot home via the post.
With twenty minutes remaining the final nail was delivered when Morgan, set-up by Harry Bunce’s trickery, was brought down in the area. Beard, not one to miss an opportunity, immediately took ownership of the ball and re-shaped the back of the net to claim his hattrick and record a welcome return to form.
Bashley, now 7-2 in the lead, brought on three subs and saw out the rest of the game comfortably.
Bashley: Kempson, Betts, Smith, Thompson, Strickland, Morris, Cooper, Bunce, Morgan, Beard, McGrath
Used Subs: Whiteley, Webber, Croucher
Photo: The hattrick boys (Harry McGrath and Cameron Beard – in shorts) being congratulated by Mike Cranidge (President) – the dwarf in the middle