Bashley’s Cup in a Match fit for a Final
Bashley 3 Verwood Town 2
Bournemouth Saturday Senior Cup Final
Tuesday 19th December 2017
This, the first Cup Final of the season, was played out in a low fog that, under the excellent M.A. Hart Stadium floodlights, turned the field of engagement into a surreal warm glow of refracted light. A fitting backcloth for the excellent sporting contest that followed. Bashley were virtually unchanged from the team that beat Shaftesbury on Saturday with Joe Coombes, who has played in all the previous rounds, replacing Bashley no.1 Mike Edgar in goal; and whilst Bashley’s influential defender Lewis Aimson was absent on occupational duty, Verwood were pleased to welcome back their semi-final hero Ron Frost after a one-match ban.
Bashley showed their intention from the start and it was no surprise when they went ahead after six minutes. A quickly-taken free kick sent Harry McGrath free down the right and his perfect cross found Kabba Jack in an ideal position to do what he does well and that was to score with a determined flourish. Conor Whiteley was also at his arrogant best and came close to adding a second when, after a bullish run on goal, he was left expressing his frustration as Verwood keeper, Issac Haigh, pulled off a remarkable double save. The Potters eased themselves into the game helped by a series of defence stretching long throws from giant centre-back Frost, throws that were the downfall of Lymington in the semi-final. However, it was not Frost but former Bashley striker Matt Vining that drew first blood when, in the last minute of the half, his cross-goal pass was slotted home under the body of the diving Coombes by James Guthrie
Within minutes of the restart Bashley re-took the lead and it was classic Whiteley. He is becoming something of a dead ball expert and his free kick from 25 yds. was in the net before Verwood keeper Haigh could mount any semblance of resistance. Bashley’s lead was short-lived and again it was Guthrie who did the damage with a shot from close range after stealing the ball from an unsuspecting defender. Bashley fought back and it was the in-form pair that again tormented the back-peddling Town defence: Whiteley, after a driving run down the middle, miscued his finish allowing the impish Jack to take over scoring duty by lashing the errant ball into the net and receive the plaudits of the packed Bashley contingent clustered behind the goal. The Premier side now eased into top gear with a demonstration of slick passing and attacking football and it was only the goalkeeping skills of man-of-the-match Haigh that kept the Bash goal tally to three.
An excellent, exciting, well-organised contest enjoyed by a crowd of 222 with both teams a credit to the Wessex League.
Bashley: Coombes, McGrath, Rolls, Strickland, Thompson, Morris, Jackson, White, Jack, Whiteley, Ross Used Sub: Munday