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Midweek Wessex Premier: Brockenhurst battle back while Bashley hammer Hythe

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THERE were two local Wessex Premier fixtures in this round of midweek games, with Brockenhurst coming from behind to defeat Portland United and Bashley easing past Hythe & Dibden.

Portland scored first and last, but the Badgers struck four times in between to take three points, while Hythe's recent improvement counted for little against an imperious Bashley who scored three unanswered goals.

Kieran O'Donnell scored a brilliant brace, with Silvano Obeng and Lyle Simpson notching strikes as the Badgers kept the pressure on the sides above them.

Brockenhurst's Lyle Simpson scored his side's fourth (photo: Les Chase)
Brockenhurst's Lyle Simpson scored his side's fourth (photo: Les Chase)

Portland scored a scruffy opener after nine minutes when Joel Hewitt pounced first during a scramble in the area following a corner.

Patrick McManus's men came back well, and they rattled the woodwork before O'Donnell levelled after 38 minutes. The Portland bench appealed for a handball in the build-up, but there was no doubting the quality of the finish.

With the half-time whistle moments away, Hewitt had a brilliant chance to restore the lead for the visitors, but his wild shot blazed over the bar.

Brockenhurst were lethal after the restart, scoring three times in 22 minutes and creating multiple openings.

The game's best goal came from left-footed number seven Kieran O'Donnell, who smashed an absolute screamer past a helpless Mike Edgar for his second.

On the hour mark, Obeng rattled the bar for the hosts. However, five minutes later, he made no mistake with a solid lofted shot to make it 3-1, before Simpson added a fourth in off the post.

Josh Williams scored a consolation for the visitors, but Brockenhurst fully deserved the victory.

Despite their recent improvements, Hythe & Dibden never fully recovered from being two down in the opening 12 minutes against an in-form Bashley, who went on to win 3-0.

The visitors scored an early penalty through spot-kick king Lewis Ross, and they never looked like relinquishing their lead with Harry Bunce making it 2-0.

Bashley's Harry Bunce on the ball (photo: Les Chase)
Bashley's Harry Bunce on the ball (photo: Les Chase)

Guided by the evergreen Jo Tessem, they provided stern opposition until Adam Grange put the result beyond doubt early in the second half.

A robust challenge on Harry Bunce in the area left him requiring treatment on the pitch. Ross punished the poor challenge by blasting the ball past keeper Nick Harvey.

Four minutes later, a second goal had the large contingent of Bashley fans on their feet among a crowd of 152. An intricate passing move down the right flank preceded a firm cross into the penalty area, which was half-cleared before being cracked home by Bunce.

Hythe came back strongly, and the rest of the half was evenly contested, with neither keeper seriously bothered.

At the start of the second 45, an unwell Ross left the pitch with Harrison White entering the fray.

After 20 minutes of open play, a strong shot from Adam Grange put the game to bed. Brought into play by Bunce passing back after a goal-line run, the incoming Grange found the back of the net from the edge of the box.

There followed a stirring among the Bashley fans as new signing and returning former Bashley favourite Sam Jackson came off the bench.

There were some penetrative runs in the final minutes from Liam Farrugia and Jamie Webber, while at the other end Ross Casey made sure of his clean sheet.

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