Match report courtesy of Bashley Football Club

Bashley made it two in a row with a well-deserved win over reigning league champions Portland United.  Kabba Jack’s fight for fitness found the right medicine with two timely goals in a match dominated for the first 70 minutes by Paul Morris’ improving squad. 

The final twenty minutes were orchestrated by the sending off of Portland’s centre back and captain Lewis Whyton whose departure injected the visitors with latent passion and fight which was further inflamed when the ten-men scored with sixteen minutes still left to play.

Bashley fielded an almost unchanged team with the returning Lewis Ross replacing the holidaying Harry McGrath. The visitors goal was under threat from the off with keeper Steve Boore scrambling to save a snap shot from Harrison White and intercept a wicked cross from Dan Thompson.  

The Blues were now pinned into their half with Harry Cooper, Ross and White suppling the ammunition, Lewis Aimson and Thomson the runs and crosses with Jack the eager target. Surprisingly despite the onslaught, it was Portland who could have taken the lead when a poor clearance left the Bash goalmouth undefended and it was left to the reliable Chris Lucas to clear from the line.  

The breakthrough came after 35 minutes when Cooper won the ball in midfield and sent Aimson scampering down the left touchline and his pinpoint cross from the by-line was slammed into the net by the goal-hungry Jack. Following this breakthrough, White went close and then a teasing free kick from Ross to the feet of Aimson was diverted away by the flying body of goalkeeper Boore.

Bashley increased their lead early in the second half when the overworked Boore half saved a teasing free kick from Ross, only to push it into the path of the poaching Jack who was then taken out by Portland defender Shaun Bessant. Jack, not put off by Boore’s puppet-on-a string antics, hammered home the resulting penalty.  

The turning point arrived with the sending off of Whyton for a second yellow. Ryan McKechnie with a fine angled shot ignited the Portland fight-back which could have become total had the visitors number nine, Sanchez Baker, not missed an open goal opportunity five minutes from time.  Bashley had lost their shape but not their heart and fully deserved their victory and will have learnt from the experience.

11th September 2017 - Mike Cranidge