Sydenhams Wessex Premier
Portland United 1 Bashley FC 2
BASHLEY FC secured all three points against Portland United in their Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division curtain-raiser after a late goal by Harry Morgan.
Sam Clarke scored first for the home side before Bashley’s Harry McGrath equalised. With the clock ticking down, it appeared the honours would be split until Morgan calmly slotted home past Josh Lucas.
Before kick-off, both sides and spectators observed a minute’s silence for former Dorset Echo sports editor Nigel Dean, who passed away last week.
Portland made a bright start to the match and tested Bashley keeper Harry Gravett early on. Moments after a spectacular tip-over, the keeper’s luck run out. The resulting corner found Ryan McKechnie who headed across goal to allow Clarke to bundle the ball over the line.
Two minutes later, a wind-assisted cross caught out Bashley and the ball ended up in the net. Fortunately for Bashley, the linesman raised his flag for offside. The disallowed goal signalled the end of home-team dominance as Bashley shifted gear.
Bashley levelled the scores midway through the first half when winger Harry Bunce crossed in to Harry McGrath who leapt well to head home from close range.
With Bashley in the ascendence, Portland fought hard to nullify the midfield which resulted in multiple fouls before Jack Smith was forced off injured. The resulting yellow card could easily have been a different colour. Liam Farrugia came on to replace Smith.
Bashley continued their assault on the Portland goal. However, their efforts were continually thwarted by keeper Lucas.
With two minutes’ play left, Bashley got the reward their dominance deserved. Morgan carried the ball in from the right before unleashing a fierce shot goalwards which the keeper could only parry. The ball deflected back towards Morgan who controlled and shot across man-of-the-match contender Lucas into the far corner of the net.
Bashley more than deserved the win with Portland failing to register a single shot in the second half.
Bashley: Gravett, Webber, Strickland, Thompson, Smith, Morris, Ross, Bunce, Whiteley, Morgan, McGrath. Used subs: Farrugia, Beard.