Winchester City beat Bashley in Dave Jose Memorial Trophy
Pre-season friendly – Dave Jose Memorial Trophy
Winchester City 3
BASHLEY’S long 25-game unbeaten run came crashing to an end as Winchester City gave them a finishing lesson in the Dave Jose Memorial Trophy match at the GlenMex Stadium.
After a nondescript first half, Winchester scored three in 12 minutes immediately after half-time, then saw out the game on the back of a string of superb saves by keeper Jordi Valero.
Even worse for Bash, they lost the influential Adam Grange to a serious-looking ankle injury in the final moments. Although the game was essentially over, Grange was hit heavily from behind by Winchester’s Max Smith who was red-carded.
Bashley, last beaten anywhere in mid-January, had started the game on the front foot and almost went ahead on five minutes. Rafa Ramos made a typically swashbuckling run in from the left after Jamie Webber set him free but the post rescued Winchester.
The visitors, now a division higher than Bash, hardly threatened until two minutes before the break when Mark Jamison rose highest to a corner and brought a flying save from Ross Casey.
It took only two minutes of the second half for City to take the lead. Dan Neild’s swerving, dipping free kick from the edge of the area hit the bar and bounced down into the path of Warren Bentley, who steered it home unchallenged.
Almost immediately, Bash were caught square by a quick through ball, and the prolific Bentley raced through to slot it past the advancing Casey.
By 59 minutes it was 3-0. Neild broke free down the left, sent it hard and low into the danger area, where former Brockenhurst striker Silvano Obeng was first to it at the near post.
It could have been worse almost immediately but Casey dived bravely at the feet of Ik Hill after the Winchester man had been sent clear.
It was uncharacteristic defending by Bashley, whose pre-season had consisted of five wins and a draw, highlighted by their security at the back.
Eventually the tide turned, but Bash found City keeper Valero equal to everything thrown at him.
The introduction of Harry Bunce wide on the right gave Bash a lift, and from his cross Lewis Ross sent in an acrobatic effort which brought an equally acrobatic save from Valero.
Then it was Ross going close again. Set up by Harry McGrath, he found Valero immovable – and there was more frustration when Grange sent McGrath clear only for Valero to take off to his right and push it away.
When a 20-yard piledriver from Ross crashed back off the crossbar it was clearly not going to be Bashley’s day.
The last-minute injury to Grange was the final blow – it was an unnecessary challenge at that stage of the game, and referee Mark Bradley agreed, but Bash now have an anxious wait to see how serious the injury is.
It's unlikely Grange will feature in Bashley’s first competitive game, the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round match at AFC Stoneham on Saturday. The Southern League Division One South season starts the following Saturday, against Bristol Manor Farm at the GlenMex, with a lively-looking derby against Lymington at Bashley three days later.