Sydenhams Premier: Bashley FC 3-0 Baffins Milton Rovers
BASHLEY FC have made it back-to-back wins with a fantastic second-half performance in their 3-0 victory over Baffins Milton Rovers.
An early kick-off, the result of floodlight maintenance, did not deter a well-drilled Baffins side who pressed hard from the whistle.
Bash goalkeeper Dan Kempson, under sustained pressure for the first time since his arrival, together with the central defensive pairing of Dan Thompson and Brad Strickland, established a no-go area for the visitors’ strike force.
Despite the onslaught, it was Bash who almost opened the scoring when Harry Bunce pounced on a loose ball and outpaced the defence and, with only the goalkeeper to beat, was stopped by the referee who was playing advantage after a foul against the hosts.
Play returned to the other end and featured a double save by Kempson – an aerial punch immediately followed by a ground-level body block.
This proved a turning point in the game, and for the final 20 minutes of the half, it was end-to-end. It was the tricky Bunce who looked the man most likely to end the impasse by twice forcing keeper Cameron Scott into action as the half ended.
Bashley were a different team in the second period and gradually took over midfield dominance from the dangerous visitors. Harry McGrath escaped down the left, and his byline pass across the face of goal was too quick for outstretched Bashley boots.
Baffins were thwarted when Thompson cleared a dangerous ball from the goal-line. That was the final roll of the dice for Rovers as Bashley took over.
A perfectly judged free-kick across the goalmouth by Harry Morgan was met and headed goalwards by Lewis Ross and returned, via post and keeper, only to be coolly dispatched high into the net by a repeating header from the unflappable Ross.
Ten minutes later, Morgan found space in the box. The forward steadied himself, looked up and calmly placed his curling shot high in the far corner of the net.
With 10 minutes to go, U18 striker George Croucher came off the bench and made an immediate impact.
Conor Whiteley was quick to pick up the ball after a defender slipped and sprinted into the area. Then with the goal within his sights, he unselfishly passed to his right having noticed the run of Croucher, and the youngster grabbed the chance to score his first senior goal.
Baffins faded with the light, and the game drew to a close with Bashley claiming all three points in the 3-0 win.
Bashley: Kempson, Browning, Smith, Thompson, Strickland, Morris, Ross, Morgan, Bunce, Whiteley, McGrath. Used Sub: Croucher.