Sydenhams Premier: Bashley FC 3-0 Cowes Sports
BASHLEY FC made light work of Cowes Sports as they saw off the second-bottom side 3-0 at Bashley Road.
Both teams made light of a heavy pitch that had caused some concern earlier in the today. Thanks to the sun and drying wind, football superseded condition.
Bashley, without key midfield defenders Brad Morris and Lewis Ross and with Billy Cooper having his second first-team start, went straight into overdrive and it was all one-way traffic.
The breakthrough came after 15 minutes when Harry McGrath, the recipient of a fine cross-field ball, cut in from the left and hammered home from the edge of the box in what is becoming a classic McGrath move.
Ten minutes later, a thrust toward goal by the bustling Cameron Beard was curtailed abruptly in the box; in the absence of penalty taker Ross, Conor Whiteley stepped up, and Bashley were two up.
However, Cowes did have their chances as home keeper Dan Kempson demonstrated his experience in ending a dangerous Yaughtsmen attack.
The home side continued to press, and the half ended with chances falling to McGrath and Beard while a Harry Morgan attempt hit the post.
Bashley continued the second half in a similar vein only to find Cowes’ keeper Fraser Law in form. As the siege continued, McGrath had an attempt saved, and Beard netted but was deemed offside.
After the underused Kempson nullified a rare counter-attack, the Islanders’ defence cracked. McGrath, forsaking his pièce de résistance, swapped flank for the centre.
Bursting through the middle, he gave the brave Law little chance with a low, hard shot, that hit the net with the keeper still running out to intercept.
Bashley confidently saw out the remaining minutes, the hard-working young duo of Billy Cooper and Harry Bunce were rested with George Croucher and Matt Crowe taking up forward and defensive roles respectively.
As the game ran out, McGrath made a concerted attempt to complete his hat-trick, but accuracy was overtaken by frustration as his final attempt went wide.
Bashley: Kempson, Betts, Thompson, Strickland, Smith, Morgan, Cooper, Whiteley, Bunce, Beard, McGrath. Used Subs: Croucher, Crowe.