Russell Cotes Cup football: Fawley celebrate cup upset as Bashley bow out
Russell Cotes Cup second round
Fawley AFC 1
Bashley FC 0
FAWLEY pulled off a memorable giant killing in the second round of the Russell Cotes Cup, the Wessex Division One side dispatching Bashley, who play two leagues higher.
Bashley, with only four of the side which started Saturday’s Southern League Division One game at Bishop’s Cleeve, was caught cold by an undaunted Oilers.
The hosts started on the front foot and took advantage of an experimental Bashley back-line by storming into the lead after only five minutes.
Will Berry was quickest to a loose ball in the penalty area and lashed it past Ross Casey from six yards.
Bashley huffed and puffed through the remainder of the first half, dominating play but lacking a cutting edge up front, despite Harry McGrath’s return, making his first start of the season after returning from a long-term injury.
Kaya Tshaka had a shooting chance from the edge of the box but fired just too high.
Then, in Bashley’s best move so far, Ash Pope raced down the right and crossed for McGrath, whose shot went straight at a relieved Jamie Bruce in goal.
Although little was seen of Fawley in attack, Casey had to make a brilliant flying save to prevent a second goal when Ollie Connor found space to shoot.
McGrath, Tshaka and Sean Wright had shooting chances, but none caused serious trouble for the keeper.
Bash had loud appeals for a penalty turned down after McGrath was flattened in the area, but half-time came with no change in the score.
The second half was entirely one-way traffic to the Fawley goal, and although their penalty area resembled the Alamo many times, the home defence held firm, soaking up wave after wave of attacks.
It was breached once, when Max Wilcock headed in a Lewis Ross free kick from wide right, only for the goal to be struck off for what looked like a dubious offside decision.
Bashley threw everything into increasingly desperate efforts for an equaliser, with even keeper Casey going up for a corner in the closing moments.
However, the Oilers held on with some heroic defending, with keeper Bruce sealing the cup upset with a flying save to keep out Conor Whiteley’s 20-yard top-corner-bound effort.
Fawley AFC: J. Bruce, T. Plank, J. Wilson, D. Gain, J. Francis, J. Sheath, N. Watkins, J. Rawkins, D. Knight, O. Connor, W. Berry. Subs: W. Hammerton, J. Munro, M. Bowman, C. Griffin, T. Walker.
Bashley: R. Casey, C. Baughan, D. Thompson, S. Wright, J. Webber, L. Delaney, L. Ross, K. Tshaka, H. Bunce, A. Pope, H. McGrath. Subs: M. Wilcock, B. Morris, C. Whiteley, Davidson, C. Stanley.