Bashley out but not down after narrow FA Cup defeat against Bracknell Town
Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round
Bracknell Town 1
THIS hard-fought cup tie – played at the Glen Mex Stadium owing to the home team, Isthmian League Bracknell Town, undergoing a £1m ground upgrade – ended in a narrow defeat for Bashley.
Bashley were quick out of the blocks and came near to scoring after six minutes when Ryan Hamm volleyed wide after fine approach work by Harry Bunce and Ollie Bradley. But the euphoria didn’t last and soon after it was the Robbins' captain, Max Herbert who saw his goal chance fly over the bar.
Undeterred, another quick forward passing move by Bashley brought Hamm back into the equation only to have the ball taken off his foot when he arched to shoot. Bracknell started to show their class and assailed the Bashley goal area only to find net guardian Sammy Thompson neutralising their rain of crossed balls with precise aerial catching and then reacting with a jack-in-the-box projection to tip a torpedo of a shot over the bar.
Bash captain Brad Morris led a revival with a solo run through the packed midfield to release Bunce goalward only to see his shot scramble-saved at the far post.
As the half drew to a close with the Robbins getting weary and frustrated, they were gifted a goal. After 42 minutes of rock-solid defending, slack marking at a corner left Bracknell’s number nine David Tarpey unaccompanied in the middle of the goalmouth to head home from a couple of feet. Delighted by his goal, Tarpey almost made it two with a breakaway a minute later.
The second half was a somewhat disappointment for the Bash fans despite bringing on recent new signings – Tommy-Lee Higgs on work experience from Southampton FC, and the returning Harrison White.
Crowd-pleasing build-up play and all-out effort from the Wessex side failed to disturb a well-drilled Bracknell defence with most attacks failing to soil the gloves of the keeper.
The visitors, meanwhile, uneasy with just a one-goal difference tried to take advantage of the space created by Bashley pushing forward but the home defence, marshalled by the indefatigable Dan Thompson and another fine salmon leap from Sammy Thompson, kept the door shut and the result still in doubt until the final whistle.
Bashley: Thompson S, Frost, Smith, Thompson D, Aimson, Willson, Bunce, Morris, Hamm, Ross, Bradley. Used Subs: Higgs, White. Attendance 214