BASHLEY VS AFC PORTCHESTER (WYVERN LEAGUE CUP)
Elliot Head’s team of experienced reserves and young players came out on top in this keenly fought and well-matched Wyvern League Challenge Cup encounter.
Neither team gave any quarter giving the game a typical cup-tie recipe of ‘blood and thunder’ with the result always in doubt. AFC Portchester were never allowed to settle as the home team contested every ball. The first half may have been goalless but didn’t lack excitement with both defences taking the plaudits.
The Bashley attack led by the mercurial Harry Smith, supported by the experienced Elliot Bevis and Ben Bolton, swept into action as the second half started, although their dominance was threatened when Smith was substituted when his over-enthusiasm looked like attracting a second yellow card.
The visitors took immediate advantage whilst this re-jigging was taking place and broke away to score but only held their lead for a minute.
The introduction of Harry Bunce for Smith kept the tension high and a well-directed corner from Bevis was only half cleared allowing centre-back Chris Speers to lash the ball home from the edge of the box. Twelve minutes later a variation on the first goal brought about the second.
This time Bevis surprised the Portchester defence by hitting his corner hard and low into the goalmouth where it was firstly fumbled by the goalkeeper and then only half cleared allowing the in-rushing Bolton to majestically find the top of the net from twelve yards.
Portchester were never out of the game and pressed for an equaliser but were unable to find any chinks in the home defence and the game ended with Bashley, with manager Head a late substitute, looking confident in their victory.
8th September 2017 - Mike Cranidge