Bashley storm into Southern League after five-year absence with win over Christchurch
Christchurch FC 0
Bashley FC 4
BASHLEY have earned promotion back to the Southern League Division One after an absence of five years, with a superb four-goal victory over local rivals Christchurch.
The win – which came thanks to goals from former Cherry Matt Tubbs, Liam Farrugia, Harry Bunce and Lewis Ross – meant Bashley closed out the season with an unbeaten streak of 19 games, winning 15 of them.
Christchurch came into the match with little to play for but pride after securing their league safety thanks to a remarkable turn of form midway through the season when new manager Callum Brooks took charge.
With Bashley player-coach Matt Tubbs in the starting line-up bridging the forwards and midfield, the visitors attacked from the start.
Lyle Simpson was prominent, but Dan Thompson's long throw to goal-hungry Adam Grange almost opened the scoring, the latter's arched shot grazing the crossbar.
Tubbs' influence began to show as the game went on, and Bashley settled into the short passing game they play so well. A well-directed pass from midfield found Grange, who moved at pace to the byline before laying the ball back into the path of Tubbs, who placed his shot inside the near post.
Soon after, Ross curved a free-kick towards the far post where three Bashley heads rose, with Liam Farrugia benefitting as the ball fell for him to volley home.
Ross repeated his success early in the second half and found the head of Grange, whose header allowed Bunce to turn in Bashley's third.
Ross then took matters into his own hands and spun through the box like a ballet dancer before sending the ball high into the net.
Christchurch began to fashion chances, but keeper Ross Casey saw off the danger. Unfortunately, Bunce spoilt the party in the final minutes by reacting to a foul with a retaliatory kick, missing the on-pitch celebrations that followed the final whistle.
Bashley: R. Casey, S. Jackson, J. Smith, D. Thompson, L. Farrugia, M. Tubbs, H. Bunce, B. Morris, L. Simpson, A. Grange, L. Ross. Subs: S. Thompson, B. Bennett, M. Rossi, J. Webber, B. Atiako-Hall.