Bashley 4 Tadley Calleva 0
Four goal Bashley gave joint league leaders, newly promoted Tadley Calleva, a reality check with a scintillating display that made a mockery of the home club’s recent cup defeats.
Bashley started off briskly against a well drilled Tadley side but it was Jason Collins in the Bash goal who was first to see action when fielding an optimistic long-range shot. Dan Munday was unlucky not to open the scoring when his goal-bound effort was deflected wide off the body of a defender. Then in the 23th minute, central defender Tony Rolls decided to take matters in hand and fulfil a centre-half’s dream; he carried the ball the length of the pitch, from defence to box, leaving in his wake a string of failed tackles to slot home past the bemused Tadley keeper, Sean O’Brien.
The home side was now dominant, and Sam Jackson went close when his fine back post header from a corner was just a tad off-line. Against the run of play, the Tadders were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box but the cunningly flighted kick from Sam Hamilton grazed the near post with Collins beaten. As if incensed by this near miss, Bashley immediately pressed forward with captain Brad Morris driving from midfield to slip the ball to Harry Morgan who deftly left two defenders for dead before finding Munday who controlled the fast-moving ball, spun round, and let fly into the corner of the net.
As expected, Tadley upped gear as the second half started having made personnel and tactical changes, and it was the Bashley defence that came under the microscope. Despite going close the home defence drilled by the quick-thinking Dan Thompson, ably supported by the strength and energy of Rolls and Lewis Aimson backed by wing -backs Jackson and jack Smith and marshalled by keeper Collins, never faulted. Changes were made and debutant Liam Farrugia, dual signed from Weymouth, and striker Cameron Beard entered the fray.
Then, after thirty minutes of holding football, the Kraken awoke. A well-judged free kick from the side-line by Morgan was headed on by Beard to fall in front of the lurking Munday and with everybody expecting a lash at goal, he paused, dummied to shoot, before delicately lifting the ball over the head of the advancing O’Brien.
With six minutes of normal time left something stirred in the Bash defence -Tony Rolls. This time his powerful run was down the right flank and after sweeping aside the challenge of a despairing right back he found Beard in the box who joyfully hooked the ball into the net to claim his first goal for the club and Bashley’s fourth.
Bashley: Collins, Smith, Aimson, Morris, Thompson, Rolls, Jackson, Morgan, Munday, White, Meddah.
Used Subs: Farrugia, Beard.
MOM: Tony Rolls