Horndean 1 Bashley 1
An unchanged Bashley lost the toss and found themselves facing a radiant setting sun and had to shield their eyes as a well organised Horndean side made the early running. It took ten minutes before the home side troubled the Horndean half when a freekick from Tyler Rutten found Sam Jackson whose pass across the box was not fully controlled by Nathan Clements and his shot was easily gathered by keeper, Ross Casey.
Intermittent attacks by Bashley lacked finish whilst at the other end Jason Collins kept the scores level with a one-handed, far post, save after slack defending let in full back Benny Reed. Dan Munday’s effort at the other end was blocked by Casey but soon after, disaster struck, when Influential defender and captain, Brad Morris, limped off with a serious leg injury to be replaced by the inexperienced Dylan Manufor. The Deans took full advantage as Bash re-grouped and it was only their poor finishing that kept the sides level at halftime.
Bashley brought on Harry Morgan for Rutten and his harrying presence brought a new dimension to the Bashley attack with an early chance falling to Hugh Dathan who was beginning to claim some dominance down the right flank. This early recovery, however, received a set-back when Horndean’s Harry Jackson was left unchallenged in the home box and his high, well-directed shot gave keeper Collins little chance.
Two minutes later the bell almost tolled when the Deans were awarded a harsh penalty when a sharp cross hit Brad Strickland’s hand. Jack Maloney’s hard low attempt was well saved by Collins diving low to his right. This was a game changer. Stung into action, Bashley upped their game and dominated the final 25 minutes. Dan Thompson and the fast improving Manufor held firm at the back as wingbacks Jack Smith and Sam Jackson pressed forward whilst the hard-running midfield of Harrison White, Strickland and Morgan multitasked as they covered the park.
The attacking trio of Munday, Clements and Dathan were a constant threat but it took until the ninetieth minute before Casey was beaten. A cross-pitch ball found Jackson breaking on the left and his pass into the danger-zone was collected by goal poacher Munday who was not going to miss from close range.
A highly entertaining game with Bashley more than holding their own against second placed Horndean.
Bashley: Collins, Jack, Jackson, Strickland, Morris, Thompson, Dathan, White, Munday, Clements, Rutten
Used Subs: Manufor, Morgan
Photo: Hugh Dathan – taken during game www.rjbfilmingandphotography.co.uk