Sydenhams Wessex Premier: Bashley 2-2 Bournemouth Poppies
IT was honours even in a thrilling encounter at Bashley on Saturday when Bournemouth Poppies rocked up to the village.
The two well-matched Sydenhams Wessex Premier teams had already locked horns four times this season and, as expected, the game turned into a hard fought, no-holds barred match.
It ended two apiece, Cameron Beard and Jamie Webber for the hosts, Ron Frost and Dom Falco on target for the Poppies.
Bash striker Dan Munday arrived late with Webber hastily promoted from the bench to play up front alongside Cameron Beard.
The two were immediately in action as Bashley started with a bang. Bullish play by Lewis Aimson and Beard led to the first goal.
As Poppies attempted to clear their lines, Aimson won back possession with a hard tackle, Beard then joined the battle for ball supremacy and finished the skirmish with a hard, low drive from 20 yards that bulged the corner of the net.
Midway through the half, influential Bash wing Jack Smith damaged his ankle and was replaced by Munday with Webber moving to cover the flank.
Bournemouth equalised when home keeper Calum Ward was judged to have fouled when competing for a high ball and Poppy captain Frost gave the young on-loan gloveman no chance from the spot.
The half ended with a dipping and swerving shot from Harrison White saved by the fingers of the fully stretched Poppies shot stopper Sam Jones.
The second half was a ding-dong battle with yellow cards given for over-strong endeavour rather than malice.
Bournemouth had the upper hand at the start, and it was no surprise when Dom Falco scored from close range after pressure on the home goal.
A series of body blocks by Dan Thompson and Tony Rolls saved Bashley’s bacon and a double point-blank save from keeper Ward frustrated the visitors and had the crowd gasping.
A late change by Bashley boss Paul Morris saw Liam Farrugia taking over left side defensive duties, allowing Aimson to push forward.
The manager’s master stroke paid dividends almost immediately when, after a powerful touchline run, Aimson found Munday in the box and his lay-off to the in-coming Webber was met and dispatched through the packed defence for a share of the points.
Bashley: Ward, O’Sullivan, Aimson, Morris, Thompson, Rolls, Smith, Strickland, Webber, White, Beard. Used Subs: Munday, Farrugia.