Bashley 1 Fareham Town 2
Still buzzing from their exhilarating FA Vase victory at Royal Wootton Bassett, Bashley were brought back to reality by a combination of prolonged rain and a strong determined Fareham Town eleven. The home defence, a closed shop for four matches, but today without the influential Dan Thompson, looked unsettled whilst the free-scoring Bash attack found the conditions and the close marking of the Creeksiders not to their liking.
Bashley were the first to show when a cross from Jack Smith gave Dan Munday a half-chance and, after of some smart forward play that ended with a half-clearance, Brad Strickland’s long-range effort sailed past the post. Brad Morris was unfortunate to get an early yellow for a firm tackle that looked worse because of the greasy surface: an unwelcomed handicap to his busy midfield agenda. An unexpected 40-yard shot from a frustrated Munday flew just wide of the post much to the relief of a surprised Derek Harding in the Fareham goal. The visitors whose game up to this time was one of prevention took the lead after 36 minutes when slack defending allowed Fareham’s lively no 9, Scott Hamilton, to score from a narrow angle.
Bashley, who last conceded a Wessex League goal on the 18 August, were knocked back to such a degree that they found themselves two down almost immediately. The usually reliable Jason Collins could only palm out a hard, fast shot which then fell to the still celebrating Robbins who returned the ball with interest to double his tally.
Bashley attacked from the start of the second half with both Cameron Beard, now at his bustling best and Smith going close. Harry Morgan came on to strengthen the midfield and the home side continued to press forward but most of their creative play fell short at the final hurdle with the visitors always dangerous on the break.
Munday hobbled off to be replaced by new boy, Nathan Clements, who is on season-long job-experience from AFC Bournemouth. It didn’t take long for the young Cherry to show his potential. Soon after Tony Rolls went close with a header from a Jack corner, Sam Jackson won the ball left-side and sent a telling pass to the back of the box. Clements facing a crowded goal area brought the ball under control, threw off his defender with a drop of his shoulder and after smart swivel-turn shot home in some style.
Bashley continued their fight for an equaliser but failed to better the visitor’s defence and game management.
Bashley: Collins, Jack, Aimson, Morris, Phelps, Rolls, Jackson, Strickland, Munday, White, Beard
Used Subs: Morgan, Clements