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Southern League Div One South football: Battered Bashley FC left scratching heads after Bristol Manor Farm thrashing

Southern League Div One South

Bashley FC 1

Bristol Manor Farm FC 0

BASHLEY completed a Jekyll and Hyde week with their worst performance so far, losing at home to Bristol Manor Farm, who had not won a league game all season.

Yet four days earlier, Bashley had taken apart league leaders Willand in exciting, free-flowing style, which gave their fans real hope that this could be the season for a play-off place finish.

Bashley keeper Ross Casey made multiple top-class saves (Photo: Les Chase)
Bashley keeper Ross Casey made multiple top-class saves (Photo: Les Chase)

Bash was, surprisingly and inexplicably, outplayed virtually from start to finish. The only surprise in the end was that it took until the 85th minute for the Farmy Army to make the breakthrough.

The final indignity was a red card for Luke Delaney in the 89th minute for a hefty – but perhaps exaggerated by the victim – challenge on keeper Seth Locke.

Ross Casey was involved from the off, saving with his legs from danger-man Evander Grubb, then it was Casey again with a superb stop when Jack Grealish look-alike Owen Brain raced clear and fired a ferocious shot.

Farm’s main tactic was to spray in long balls over the top to the left for Evander Grubb or Owen Brain to chase. Both are speedy and tricky, and Bashley right-back Rian Drake soon found himself overworked.

He was coping bravely with the bombardment, but after 35 minutes, manager Ollie Cherrett swapped Drake for the more experienced Jamie Webber.

But hard though Webber tried, he had no better luck, and twice more before the interval, both Grubb and Brain went close.

Bashley keeper Ross Casey made multiple top-class saves (Photo: Les Chase)
Bashley keeper Ross Casey made multiple top-class saves (Photo: Les Chase)

Ash Pope – signed from Shaftsbury – came on to make his Bashley debut in place of Abdulai Baggie, but he could not make an impact.

The Farm might have gone ahead earlier, but for a moment of defensive excellence by Ben Jefford, he arrived with perfect timing to clear off the line.

Casey then made a flying save, but Bashley’s obvious Man of the Match could do nothing about the winning goal when Brain threaded a perfect ball inside of Webber for Grubb to run onto, and he cut in to beat Casey as the keeper raced out.

Manager Cherrett admitted: “We were second best. We’re determined that won’t happen again.”

Bashley return to action away against Hamworthy United on Saturday at 3pm.

Bashley: R. Casey, R. Drake, J. Davis, S. Davidson, B. Jefford, B. Morris, K. Tshaka, L. Delaney, A. Baggie, B. Williams, M. Wilcock. Subs: A. Pope, H. Brooks, J. Webber, C. Whiteley, L. Ross.

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