Sydenhams Premier: Bashley FC 7-2 Shaftesbury
In a frantic start to the Sydenhams (Wessex) Premier League contest, Bashley made light of the heavy conditions and were two up in five minutes.
Following fast, accurate approach play, a Harry Morgan shot on the turn from just inside the box was only partly saved, with Beard firing in from close range – and Shaftesbury keeper Harrison Bruton was given no respite as straight from the restart McGrath’s shot evaded his grasping hands.
Bashley continued to dominate with a Beard goalbound effort well saved so it came as a surprise when the visitor’s alert Jack Mitchell poached the ball from the home defence and was left free to score. The Rockies’ resurgence was to last just three minutes.
A cross-field ball from Billy Cooper started a break that ended with McGrath creating space before rocketing into the net from 14 yards.
Three minutes later, after being put in by a Beard-assist, McGrath repeated the process to claim a 25-minute treble. Before the break playmaker Harry Morgan scored Bashley’s fifth goal with an unstoppable drive from another Beard assist.
Five minutes after the restart, a chastised Shaftesbury pulled one back through a Matt Hindle breakaway, and for the next five minutes Bash keeper Dan Kempson was kept busy.
The game was steered back Bash’s way by Beard who busted through a high defensive line to muscle his way down half the pitch before willing his half-hit shot home via the post.
With 20 minutes remaining the final nail was delivered when Morgan, set up by Harry Bunce’s trickery, was brought down in the area.
Beard, not one to miss an opportunity, immediately took ownership of the ball and slammed home to record a welcome return to form.
Bashley: Kempson, Betts, Smith, Thompson, Strickland, Morris, Cooper, Bunce, Morgan, Beard, McGrath. Used subs: Whiteley, Webber, Croucher.