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