Sydenhams Wessex Premier: Bashley FC 1-0 Brockenhurst FC
BASHLEY FC and Brockenhurst FC played out a classic New Forest derby last night that kept the large crowd chewing their fingernails until the final whistle.
The match had everything including a fairy tale ending when Jesse Gould, making his first appearance for two years, stepped off the bench in the 88th minute and scored with his first and only kick of the match.
The game brought out the best in both teams with the experienced Badgers Will Tickle and Dammy Bada dominating the flanks whilst Bashley, building from the back, drew inspiration from the fetch and distribution of the tireless Dan Thompson and Dan O’Sullivan.
Badgers’ Newton sees red
Brock were reduced to ten men mid-way through the first half when a crunching tackle on Dan Strickland left him hobbling and Cassius Newton walking.
To their credit Brock quickly adjusted to the situation with a sound defence and Tickle inspired breakaways. Bashley’s young keeper Cameron Plain, on job-experience from AFC Bournemouth, was the busier gloveman on his home debut.
Bashley turned on the pressure in the second half but found the Brock defence unyielding, this despite Thompson’s masterly performance in opening channels, Jack Smith’s darting runs and the ceaseless probing of Dan Munday.
Brock remained a threat on the break, but the defence marshalled by Brad Morris with Tony Rolls back to form and Plain, alert to every challenge, formed an effective partnership.
Sub Gould the match winner
Bash pushed for a winner and threw themselves at the Badgers’ wall which was frustratingly impregnable. Then with just two minutes of normal time remaining, Gould made his surreal entry.
An under-pressure Harry McGrath lobbed a ball into the crowded centre box, and it fell to Gould who spun and shot, and the Badgers’ wall came tumbling down.
Gould then survived a ten-man pile of delighted colleagues who then reformed to see off Brock’s last-minute assault on the Bashley goal. He walked off at the final whistle having touched the ball once. Of such things legends are born.
Bashley: Plain, McGrath, Thompson, Strickland, Morris, Rolls, Smith, White, Munday, O’Sullivan, Beard. Used Subs: Webber, Gould.