Gone with the Wind

Hamworthy United 3 Bashley 0
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

Hamworthy’s County Ground Stadium, on the edge of Poole Harbour, took the full force of Saturday’s storms and Bashley’s chances of a FA Cup run were literally blown away.

Bashley kicked off with the wind at their backs on an unusually dry 3G pitch which gave off puffs of rubber dust when trodden down liken to a racehorse on a dirt track. Good football was out of the question and Bashley found it hard to adjust their play to meet the extreme conditions.

Jamie Webber and Ollie Smith were energetic and determined in their forward rolls but the absence or a proven striker resulting from injury and dual signings being not available for cup-ties, was evident throughout the game.

Hamworthy, did not fare much better but did have the advantage of home ‘turf’ and two established strikers in Dan Cann and ex-Bashley hitman Cameron Beard and it was the later that came closest to scoring when his sharp shot hit the bar with Ollie Bull in the Bash goal well beaten.

Bashley’s best chance felt to Lewis Ross who leapt clear from a packed goalmouth to meet Conor Whiteley’s arcing wind-assisted cross, but his valiant effort flew over the bar. Bashley were more at home in the second half playing against the wind and looked the most likely to score; a Jack Smith defence splitting pass sent Hugh Dathan goal-wards but his shot was easily held by Hammer keeper Sam Jones, whilst a Whiteley free kick from just outside the box was below his expected standard and drifted past the post.

Recently signed Harry Morgan came on and immediately took up a forward position but had hardly settled when, against the run of play, Hamworthy took the lead. Receiving the ball from a short corner, Matt Steer lifted a cross towards the goalmouth only for the wind to take over control and lift the ball up and over the helpless Bull and into the net.

Bashley retaliated immediately and after a bustling burst from midfield, Morgan was through on goal only to be unceremoniously dumped on the floor and the ball filched from his foot just two yards from the line. Had this gone in it would have been a different game but the wind had other ideas; a hopeful lob from Matt Steer was embraced by a lusty gust that once again took the ball up and over a bemused Bull before hitting terra firma in net land.

Jesse Gould and Harry Bunce came on and the last 20 minutes were all Bashley but despite the onslaught and a disputed penalty appeal, keeper Jones was never fully extended and in the dying minutes Bashley finally lost their puff when Beard took advantage of an up-field defence to add a third and only non-wind-assisted goal.

Bashley: Bull, Smith J, Thompson, Strickland, Speers, Dathan, Ross, Webber, Whiteley, Smith o
Used Subs: Morgan, Gould, Bunce
Att: 110

A hard earned three points

Bashley 2 Christchurch 1
Wessex Premier

There was hardly time for the expectant crowd of 211 to settle before Christchurch were one up! In the first minute, Priory forced a corner which an unmarked Luke Stone dutifully headed home.

A stung Bashley threw everything forward but failed to make an impression; the closest being a Brad Strickland attempt from a Jamie Webber assist that was easily saved. Moments later, Strickland was involved at the other end but thankfully the free kick resulting from his ‘one for the team’ foul was smartly saved by the diving Ollie Bull. Lewis Ross was unlucky when his assault on goal was blocked and two long range dead-ball kicks from Conor Whiteley, although on target, lacked venom.

The breakthrough came in the 28th minute when following a pass from Ross, Harry McGrath unselfishly squared his chance across the face of the goal to the better positioned Webber who made no mistake with a hard drive.

End to end play kept the crowd on their feet and Stone almost doubled his account when hitting the home bar with a wicked swerving shot; whilst McGrath fared no better when his volley, following a Jack Smith solo run, took the wrong side of the bar.

The decisive goal came minutes from halftime: Strickland ignited Jack Smith with a precision cross-field pass and the effervescent wing-back moved inside with pace; his effort was half cleared only to be picked up on the radar of Whiteley some 25 yards out. This time the shot was not only on target, but his venom was back with vengeance and the net bulged.

The second half was little more frantic with both sides eager to make their mark; Bashley tried various combinations with early substitutions one of whom, Brogen Sims famed for his goals from the bench, lasted only 20 minutes before hobbling off with an ankle injury. Bashley were unsettled and the final twenty minutes were almost all Christchurch. Despite numerous corners Bull stood firm and one tip over the bar from a close-range snapshot was pure class.

Bash had the occasional break, but they were mostly on the back foot and the final whistle brought a sigh of relief from the packed stand.

Bashley: Bull, Smith J, Thompson, Strickland, Morris, Speers, Webber, Ross, McGrath, Whiteley, Smith
Used subs: Sims, Dathan, Gould
Attendance: 211
Photos: scorers Webber and Whiteley

Photos: scorers Webber and Whiteley

A Game of Missed Chances

Bashley 0 Fleet Town 0
Wessex Premier

For want of better description, this was well and truly a game of two halves. Bashley, buoyant from a successful preseason were shaken from any complacency by the fast, direct play of the visitor’s and spent a surprising amount of the half on the back foot.

A ding-dong first two minutes saw Hugh Dathan finishing a flowing Bashley move with an unconvincing header followed immediately by a fast break on the home goal that was only curtailed by the purple heart bravery of Bash Keeper Ollie Bull at the feet of the burly Blues number nine Aaron Redford. This pattern continued in bursts with Bull dominant in a china-shop of pressure with timely interceptions and bold catching; a task aided by the woeful finishing of the Fleet strikers.

Despite the balance of play being around the home goal, it was Bashley who came closest to scoring. Ollie Smith was on hand five yards out to snap back a spilled shot only for goal minder Luke Williams to reclaim it safely. Minutes later the keeper was left stranded by Dathan‘s cross-goal pass but young Smith’s well-timed timed run to the far post just failed to make contact. Both Whiteley and Dathan were on-target with shots from distance but without enough venom to bother Williams.

Fleet’s first half pressure was nullified by the speed of tackle of a Bashley defence marshalled by the tireless Brad Morris who deserved their modicum luck when a header from Redford met its end on the crossbar.

The second half was a mirror image of the first but this time it was Bashley who were the dominant side. Goal chances were many, but the net remained a no-go area. The football flowed with the speed and tenacity of Jack Smith causing problems and frontman Harry McGrath in bustling mood a goal seemed inevitable but instead of net, it was the outside extremities of the goal frame that took the flack!

Then, in the sixty-first minute the door of opportunity swung open. Jack Smith was fouled when running free on the left; Whiteley’s curling free kick to the far post caused both mayhem and a handball offence. Penalty! Brad Strickland’s hard shot from the spot grazed the top of the bar and the door of opportunity closed.

Brogen Sims, Billy Cooper and Jamie Webber came off the bench to try their luck and it was goal-poacher extraordinaire Sims, who had scored from the bench in three previous outings, who looked certain to add to his tally with a short range shot but for the flying body of Williams that curtailed his dreams and Bashley’s hope for three points.

(Photo: Brogen Sims in action)
Bashley: Bull, Smith J, Thompson, Strickland, Morris, Spears, Dathan, Gould, McGrath, Whiteley, Smith
Used Subs: Cooper, Sims, Webber
Attendance: 202

This one is for Keith

Bashley 4 Sholing 1
Pre-Season Friendly

The loss of Bashley’s Number 1 supporter and Wessex League Icon Keith Hill to cancer dominated this match. The minutes applause at the start was a moving tribute shared together at one end of the pitch by players and supporters in the presence of the Hill family.

Inspired by the call that ‘this one is for Keith’ Bashley put on a display of attractive, determined football and made it three wins in five days against Southern League opposition.

Bashley took the lead early in the half when Connor Whiteley, enjoying freedom in a more forward role, cut in from the right and scored with a disciplined shot across the keeper. Within minutes Sholing had equalised with the experienced Dan Mason taking advantage of a loose ball in the area.

The second half started with Whiteley adding to his tally when he surprised Sholing keeper Ryan Gosney by shooting from the most acute of angles with ball passing behind the keeper, hitting the far post and rebounding back along almost the same trajectory like a pin-ball to hit the near post and this time go in.

Ten minutes later, Harry McGrath scored a more traditional goal by busting through the middle and beating the out rushing Gosney with a well-directed drive.

The sub bench was now in play with Harry Bunce, just back from University, causing havoc with his speedy runs but it was Brogan Sims that put the icing on the cake when he was once again in the right spot to latch onto a rebound to score his third poacher goal in three games.

Bashley: Collins, Smith, Dodd, Strickland, Morris, Thompson, Dathan, Ross, McGrath, Whiteley, Webber

Used Subs: Sims, Bull, Bunce, Speers, Betts, Nichols
Unused Subs: Cullingford
Scorers: (Whiteley 13′ 42′ McGrath 68′ Simms 90′) (Mason 15′)
Att: 126

Photos: Supplied by Les Chase, are of fans and players giving a minutes applause for Keith Hill

Trevor would have enjoyed today

Bashley 2 Basingstoke Town 0
Trevor Parker Memorial Match
Saturday 27th July 2019

A perfect summer’s day; two of Trevor Parker’s favourite clubs on the pitch; family and friends in attendance and an excellent pre-season crowd of 179 raising over £600 for a cancer charity.

Bashley made changes to the squad that played Winchester on Thursday with the important inclusion of captain Brad Morris returning with a holiday tan. Bashley were the first to settle and went ahead in the sixth minute when following a corner, a Jack Smith half cleared shot was embraced by the energetic Jesse Gould who, from 10 yards out, split the defensive wall with a well-place drive.

Harry McGrath was first to a low, hard corner but his excellent hooked shot was off target. A net-bound chance at the other end was nullified by a goal-line block by the effervescent Jack Smith whilst a Jamie Webber attempt sailed the wrong side of the Basingstoke bar. A flowing move instigated by Hugh Dathan and Jack Smith, encouraged the closely marked Ollie Smith to break free from his towering defender only for the Bash new boy to slice wide. Just before halftime Bash keeper, Ollie Bull, bravely intercepted a fierce goal bound effort.

As expected, both teams made changes in the second half with every bench player getting game time and once again it was young Brogen Sims that made good use of this opportunity. Harry McGrath battled his way through a packed defensive line but unable to see a chink in the armour passed across the box; Sims, who had run astutely into space, grabbed the chance and coolly placed his shot out of the keeper’s reach.

Bashley Show Polish in Claiming the Silverware

Bashley 3 Winchester City 0
Dave Jose Trophy
Thursday 25th July 2019

The annual Dave Jose Trophy fixture saw the return of the holders Winchester City to Bashley Road. This annual event, which is played at the end of July, is popular fixture and is seen as precursor for the season to come.

Bashley fielded a team of 18 consisting of: the bulk of last season’s squad, returning former players, (Lewis Ross and Conor Whiteley) and several trialists. Young prospect, Ollie Smith, quickly displayed his credentials: his forward run to greet and dispatch a cross-goal pass, delivered with speed and accuracy by Jesse Gould, was sheer perfection.

Early in the second half It was another cross from Gould that led to the home side doubling their tally when from just inside the box Whiteley embraced the assist by stroking it surgically into the far corner of the net.

As the game progressed both sides made changes as the benches played musical chairs and it was left to Brogan Sims, whose goalscoring prowess with the U18s last season was cruelly curtailed by a broken collar bone, to show he had recovered when fielding and smartly adding the finishing touch to a loose ball following several blocked shots in the Winchester goal area.