Sydenhams Premier: Solent University 3-3 Bashley FC
BASHLEY FC shared the points with Solent University after a thrilling 3-3 stalemate in the Sydenhams Premier division.
It was a hard-fought game in unusual circumstances with the recent weather causing the game to be reversed to Bashley Road and with a precautionary introduction that left players and officials confused about how to greet with handshakes banned due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Bashley had the best possible start with a goal after 45 seconds. Conor Whiteley reacted first to a hopeful ball through a still settling defence, putting the ball past a surprised keeper.
Despite the early goal, this was to be no easy jaunt for Bashley, with attractive football being nullified by close marking and erratic refereeing.
After 10 minutes, Solent netted only to be judged offside and instead awarded a free-kick nearer the halfway line, a difficult decision players and spectators to understand.
The students were proving a handful, and a late period of sustained attacking found keeper Harry Gravett, standing in for the absent Dan Kempson, in excellent form. The half ended with Whiteley being sin-binned after alleged dissent.
Solent University took full advantage of Whiteley’s 10-minute rest by equalising within two minutes of the restart thanks to the quick reaction of their captain, Luke Mitchell.
Bashley responded almost immediately when Lewis Ross was unlucky to see his powerful shot cannon off the crossbar. Two minutes later he had his reward when striking home from the spot after Billy Cooper had been brought down in the area.
The play was now even and fiercely competitive and, after more on-field confusion which saw Jack Smith carded for being fouled, Solent drew level when Colin Beasley fired in from close range.
With 10 minutes remaining, Bash took the lead when Harry Bunce weaved his way through a packed defence to find Whiteley who swivelled and netted in classic style. Bashley’s lead lasted just two minutes when more confusion led to another sin-bin, and John Wallace took advantage of the perplexed Bash defenders to level the scores.
Bashley pressed hard as time expired with a Whiteley shot from a Ross assist being tipped over the bar, and a Smith drive went heart-stoppingly wide. An exciting if confusing game but a fair result.
Bashley: Gravett, Webber, Thompson, Strickland, Smith, Morris, Cooper, Ross, Bunce, Whiteley, McGrath. Used Sub: Edwards.