Hamworthy United 2 Bashley 1
A much anticipated first away game will be remembered more for incidents than football. The sight of the green of Hamworthy United’s 3G pitch after the bronze-brown of home left many pleased that they had gone to Specsavers; not so Bashley’s inform central defender Tony Rolls, whose face told all as he limped out of the warm-up with his place going to debutante Zach Phelps.
Bashley started like an express train and dominated play with front runners Dan Munday and Nasim Meddah, supported by the on-fire Harry McGrath, causing mayhem. Their endeavours paid dividends in the thirteenth minute when Meddah outpaced his defender and his low hard cross was swept home peerlessly by the in-rushing Dan Munday. Then a double incident that led to two apparent serious injuries, one involving Hamworthy’s Chris Senior which led to a five-minute break in play, appeared to unsettle Bashley and play became more even. Bashley had chances to increase their lead with Harrison White, Munday, McGrath and Meddah all going close.
The Hammers were a different team in the second half, as well as the enforced changes, central defender Nathan Walker displayed his team captain credentials by moving up front and forming a threatening partnership with the speedy River Smith. That being so, all could have been different if Bashley had converted a penalty awarded two minutes after the break when feisty Sam Jackson was taken down by an outmanoeuvred defender. Brad Strickland’s attempt was saved, and the ball fell lose only for Meddah’s rushed response to sail over the bar. This was the turning point and the spotlight fell on Jason Collins in the Bashley goal and despite showing his class with several fine saves, it was captain courageous’ s night.
Walker, having raised his team from the dead equalised soon after and then, as a coup de grâce, rammed home a Smith cross to claim victory. Bashley brought on Cameron Beard and Jamie Webber but failed to recapture their impressive first half display.
Bashley: Collins, McGrath, Aimson, Morris, Thompson, Phelps, Jackson, Strickland, Munday, White, Meddah. Used Subs: Beard, Webber