Bashley 2 Baffins Milton Rovers 0
Bashley moved to second in the table with a hard-fought win against Portsmouth side, Baffins Milton Rovers, with goals either side of halftime. This was no easy win; both teams were unbeaten in the league and like Bash, Rovers had enjoyed recent cup success.
Bashley, a team renowned for their passing game found a new demission in the hustle and muscle of Cameron Beard who, in the absence of Dan Munday, relished his target-man role. An early attempt at a ducked header, that was more nose than head, was followed by a series of forward runs that the Rover’s defence found difficult to contain. One such run left him free in the box only to be penalised by a debateable off-side decision. On another foray he ‘persuaded’ Baffins keeper, Cameron Scott, to lose the ball but his lob from an awkward angle went wide.
For most of the half, the play was even with the battle raging centre-stage and goalkeepers redundant. Then five minutes from time, Rover’s Rob Taw found space in the box and looked certain to score but his shot, heading to the far top corner, was pawed to safety by a Jason Collins’s ejector-seat save. With the applause still to die down, Beard on another raid, was fouled short of the corner-flag; Harry Morgan’s free kick, swung in to the far post, was perfectly met by the high-rising Lewis Aimson and the stalemate was broken.
The second half was, if anything, livelier than the first. Beard was taken out by goalkeeper Scott in the penalty area to what seemed a certain foul. A penalty was not awarded, and Beard, instead, was given the consolation of a bandaged head. Then, 10 mins into the half, Bashley got their second. A cross into the goalmouth was headed onwards by the leaping Sam Jackson to be met and half controlled by Morgan before he forced it over the line as he fell back. The visitors continued to press but Bashley chased and harried to a man in the protection of their lead.
The battle-weary Beard was replaced by the speedy Nasim Meddah who was joined later by Rian Drake and Joel Drew from the bench; an astute move as their quick breakaways gave some relief to the overworked Bash defence. Even so, the home goal was now under serious pressure and it took Collins and Harrison White to save the day with a fine save and line clearance respectively.
Then, with just a few minutes to go, Jason Collins received what was thought to be a serious head injury and after nine minutes of on- pitch treatment he was carried off. Having use all their subs, defender Lewis Aimson pulled on the green jersey and goal scorer became goal saver when he dealt competently with two dangerous crosses before the final whistle.
Note: Jason Collins recovered an joined the celebration in the clubhouse afterwards.
Bashley: Collins, Smith, Aimson, Morris, Thompson, Rolls, Jackson, Strickland, Beard, White, Morgan. Used Subs: Meddah, Drake, Drew.
MOM: Harry Morgan