Team Solent 1 Bashley 2
Bashley tamed a sprightly Team Solent on a surprisingly cold, wet and windy afternoon at Test Park to end their septimana horribilis.
A re-shaped Bashley – with Hugh Dathan having his first full start for well over a season, replacing the injured Lewis Aimson; Nathan Clements taking over the boots of the convalescing Dan Munday, and newly signed Dylan Manufor, a young centre-back, on the bench – kicked off into a fierce headwind and dominated the first twenty minutes of play. Their superiority was underlined when Cameron Beard split the midfield with a forward pass that found Harrison White breaking out of midfield. Alert to his surroundings, White paused forty yards from goal and using his leg as a golf club sent a high chip skywards that sailed over the head of keeper Ben Morella and drop, with birdie precision, into the back of the net.
As if woken from their slumbers, the students hit back in identical fashion and Jason Collins was at his best in tipping a dipping shot over the bar. Central defender Tony Rolls was over-optimistic regarding his hamstring recovery and limped off to be replaced by Manufor whose sudden introduction to his new team mates was somewhat spoiled when he received a yellow card for an innocuous tackle as a welcome him to the Wessex League.
The second half was extremely competitive with Bashley and especially goalkeeper Collins at full alert to deal with the speed and skills of the young Sparks, a danger matched by Bashley’s own teenage front pairing of Beard and Clements who were never long out of the action. The task looked easier for Bashley when scoring soon after the re-start. An alert Brad Strickland used the wind to help swing his corner away from keeper Morella towards the domain of Sam Jackson lurking beyond the far post and in the right position to crack a waist high volley hard into the net.
Team Solent came back almost immediately and after a prolonged exercise in frustration inside the Bash goal area, Yasir Haji scored with a low shot through a crowd of players. There were no further goals, but not for the want of trying. with Jackson in a left centre position giving a master class of ‘heading-on’ the well-directed clearances of Collins into the attacking zone whilst a ‘still getting to know each other’ Bash defence dealt well with the wind and the flying Sparks.
Bashley: Collins, Smith, Rolls, Morris, Thompson, Dathan, Jackson, Strickland, Beard, White, Clements
Used Subs: Manufor, Drake