FA Cup Preliminary Round
CHRISTCHURCH FC defeated Bashley FC by two goals at the Glen Max Stadium to progress to the FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round for the first time in eight years.
Christchurch were the better side, and they broke the deadlock in the first half when captain Billy Walker volleyed in from close range. Ash Pope put the game beyond doubt in the 38th minute when he scored from 20 yards out.
Bashley found themselves on the back foot early on, and they never found an answer to the missile-like throw-ins from centre back Ron Frost. Every throw-in Christchurch won goal-side of the halfway line was a prelude to mayhem in the Bashley penalty area. Only the catching ability of Bashley keeper Harry Gravett kept the goal tally to two.
The first goal came when Frost launched another bullet into the area. Gravett managed to parry the ball away, but it fell perfectly into the path of Walker. He made no mistake and burst through the flat-footed defence to volley home from close range.
After the opener, Bashley had a spell of possession. Their best chance fell to Jack Smith, who was denied by a Christchurch toe which plucked the ball off his foot at the last moment.
With half-time drawing closer, Christchurch looked dangerous. Gravett saved well several times to keep his side in the tie. However, he stood little chance when Ash Pope left his defender for dead before cutting inside and finding the far corner of the net with an arrow of a shot from just outside the box.
With the first half coming to a close, Christchurch keeper Lewis Gunstone-Grey made a spectacular save to keep out Brad Strickland’s stinging volley.
In the second-half, both sides began to play cagily. With the game being played in a fair spirit, the referee was perhaps a little eager to bring out cautions with the home side collecting five yellow cards.
Christchurch deservedly booked their place in the FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round where they will take on Dorchester Town on Tuesday 22nd September
Christchurch: L. Gunstone-Grey, E. Ohameje, B. Hill, R. Frost, B. Walker, B. Cherret, B. Slatterley, N. Swann, A. Pope, M. Wilcock, J. Kirkham. Subs used: M. Finch, L. Stone, H. Wright.
Bashley: H. Gravett, J. Webber, B. Strickland, D. Thompson, J. Smith, B. Morris, L. Ross, H. Bunce, H. Morgan, C. Whiteley, H. McGrath. Used subs: C. Onoufriou, L. Farrugia.