Sydenhams Premier Division
BASHLEY FC withstood a first-half barrage to clinch a 1-0 home victory over early league leaders Horndean with a second-half penalty.
Horndean laid siege to the Bashley goal right from the off, with goalkeeper Sam Thompson called on more than once to keep the visitors at bay. However, once the teams re-emerged for the second-half, Bashley seized the impetus before Harry Morgan converted a penalty after Lewis Ross was cut down in the box.
Horndean started with an intensity that Bashley could not match, and their bustling number nine, former Bashley player Connor Duffin, was in tremendous form.
The alertness of Bashley’s new keeper Thompson kept the scores level when he tipped a wickedly diverted shot over the bar. He then won applause from spectators when dealing with a fierce drive by Duffin which left everyone frozen apart from the nimble keeper.
After the break, both sides made changes, with Horndean replacing Tommy Tierney who had damaged his ankle, while Bashley brought on Harry Bruce and Cameron Beard. The changes paid off immediately with Bunce running at the defence and Beard unsettling the visitors’ backline with his movement.
The breakthrough came for Bashley when Ross was brought down in the area as he turned to shoot after Bunce had played him in. Despite the pressure of expectancy of the home crowd, Morgan continued his rich vein of scoring by stepping up and calmly placing the ball wide of the keeper.
With 26 minutes left to play, Bashley went after a second goal. Beard was in an imperious form, and he came close several times. He hooked the ball towards goal from a corner, a flicking header drew a decent save from the keeper and drew gasps from the crowd when his 35-yard driven shot stung the hands of the gloveman.
Bashley’s next Sydenhams Premier Division match sees them take on Alresford Town at home on Saturday.
Bashley: S. Thompson, B. Strickland, J. Webber, D. Thompson, L. Aimson, L. Farrugia, L. Ross, B. Morris, C. Whiteley, H. McGrath. Used subs: H. Bunce, C. Beard.