Hampshire Youth League Cup (semi-final): Bashley FC U18s 3-3 Sholing
(Bashley win 4-3 on penalties)
BASHLEY Football Club U18s produced a second-half display straight from Roy of the Rovers to upset the form book against Sholing in the semi-final of the Hampshire Youth Cup.
The odds were very much in favour of Division One outfit Sholing especially as Bashley were without the influential Jules Kruger and then lost top scorer Brogen Sims to a broken collarbone midway through the first half.
The first half ended 2-0 in Sholing’s favour, but the game changed ten minutes into the second half when Josh Cook was taken down by the keeper when first to an errant back-pass. Cook dusted himself off and calmly stroked the ball passed the Sholing keeper who was lucky still to be on the field of play.
The spot-kick was the turning point and the game was now open and even. The second Bashley goal was a beauty: a free kick was awarded 30 yards out and despite the efforts of a tall defensive wall, a Billy Cooper game-changing up-and-over found the far corner of the net.
Bashley were now on song with Jamie Johnson and Josh Cook causing problems on the break and George Croucher, on for Sims, using his strength to good effect.
Johnston breaking in from the left was unlucky when his shot scraped past the far post; with five minutes to go he tried again and this time the net bulged for a 3-2 Bashley advantage.
Sholing were always dangerous but found Bash keeper, Dale Hind, in excellent form but even he couldn’t stop a thunderous free-kick awarded on the 90th minute from just outside the box. The whistle blew immediately, and the match went to penalties.
The hosts were unaffected by a last-second equaliser and held their nerve with Cook, Johnson, Matt Taylor and Zorro Skilton finding the corner each time with hard low shots and once Hind had pulled off a great save, the final Sholing penalty went wide.
Bashley U18 will play runaway Division One leaders, Team Solent in the final.
Bashley FC U18s: Billy Cooper, Ciaran Christie, Josh Cook, Dale Hind, Jamie Johnson, Ryan Knott, Adam Petty, Brogen Sims, Peter Smith, Matt Taylor, Zorro Skilton. Used subs: George Croucher, Sam Eames, Adam Fidler.