Bashley Under 19s into the National Quarter-Finals
Bashley U19 2 Maidstone Uniyed Blues U19 0
National League U19 Alliance
National Champion Play-off
Monday 8th May 2017
With the Bashley Road pitch under seasonal repair, Regional League winners Bashley U19s played their Quarter-final tie, against fellow league winners Maidstone United, on the open spaces of Brockenhurst College. The hard, well-used, pitch and windy conditions were not conducive to good football; conditions that appeared to favour the strong running visitors. It was Bashley, however, who opened the scoring when, after a series of quick movements in the penalty area, the ball broke free to Barnaby Turner who netted sharply from a couple of yards from what looked an offside position. Fortunately for the home team he had been played onside. The half developed into a midfield battle with little goalmouth action which must have pleased the Maidstone keeper who took a while to recover from a knock. Maidstone boasted a halfback with the longest throw I have ever seen from a teenager. He was helped by the open pitch which allowed him a fast-bowlers’ run up before delivering. Bizarre but very effective.
The second half started with Harry Bunce’s effort being flagged for offside but apart from that the next 15 minutes was all Maidstone as the home goal was bombarded by numerous thrown-ins, some from almost as far away as the half-way line, and multiple corners. Maidstone grew more and more frustrated as Bash captain Sam Jackson, a colossus at the back, marshalled his troops and even when thwarted inspired Bash keeper, Isaac Haigh, was there to pull off two remarkable diving saves. Tyrell Sampson came on to replace the tiring Turner and Harry McGrath, who had been a forlorn figure up front, dropped into the hole behind the new front pairing of Sampson and the competitive Bunce, who had moved up from midfield. The ploy paid dividends when McGrath ran from his deeper position to meet a free kick, cut inside and unleash an unstoppable shot into the far corner of the net. The visitors were now vulnerable as they pushed forward but showed their mettle by continuing their onslaught. Bashley brought on Sean Wright to help bolster the beleaguered defence: a defence that once again stood firm until the final whistle brought an armistice and a win for Bashley.
Bashley play Southampton (Sparsholt) in the Quarter-Final
Bashley: Isaac Haigh, James Langdown, Jack Ison, Harrison White, Elliott Pearce-Eavis, Sam Jackson, Rian Drake, Harvey Slade, Harry McGrath, Harry Bunce, Barnaby Turner,
Used Subs: Tyrrell Sampson, Sean Wright