Hampshire Senior Cup: Bashley FC 5-1 Romsey Town
After the match was relocated due to floodlight issues at Romsey’s ground, Bashley started the brighter of the two teams and were soon in front when an inviting cross from Prior was met by McGrath, whose header found the back of the net on seven minutes.
McGrath had a great chance to double the lead 20 minutes in. With no defenders in his way, McGrath went one-on-one with the keeper, but his shot was turned around the post by Charlie Philpott.
Shortly before half time, the visitors grabbed an equaliser. A corner drew keeper Ollie Bull out of goal, Luis Morais strayed off to the back post and received the ball to head home.
Less than a minute into the second half, the hosts restored their lead when Brad Strickland laid the ball across to Prior, who slotted it into the corner.
Prior continued to impress on his fine debut as he found space on the left wing to cut inside and smash the ball past the diving keeper into the far corner.
Bashley’s Harry Bunce then cut the ball back to Brad Strickland moments later, who smashed the ball into the net. Fortunately for the visitors, Bunce was deemed offside and the goal was disallowed.
Barely affected by their disallowed goal, the home side struck yet again. Prior was instrumental in Bashley’s fourth as his defence-splitting ball found Harry Morgan, who slid the ball into the net on 69 minutes.
Five minutes after their fourth, McGrath nabbed Bashley’s fifth and final goal with a right-footed strike from outside the box, all but ensuring victory.
A crowd of 120 saw Prior nearly cap off a perfect hat trick with an audacious back heel flick that caught the Romsey keeper by surprise, but Philpott’s fast reflexes kept it out.
Bashley manager Paul Morris was pleased with Prior’s debut and told the A&T: “He’s sharp and knows where the goal is. I’m really impressed with him and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him.”
Morris spoke highly of Tom Betts, who made his first full appearance for the club: “It was his first full night and I was really impressed with him as well.”