By Bashley Football Club | Sheridan Sparkes | Saturday 20th December 2014


Having beaten Taunton Town away in mid-September to secure their only league
win of the 2014/15 campaign so far, there were a mixed set of emotions going
into the game for Bashley fans. Before play, Town were seven games unbeaten
and flying high at the top of the Southern League South & West table, yet
Bashley remain seven points adrift of safety.

The visitors got off to a quick start, and within three minutes of the whistle Steve
Murray managed to flash a header just wide of the post. With ten minutes on the
clock, Town opened the scoring as a ball through released Aaron Ward-Baptiste,
who promptly squared for Ben Kirk to tuck home into an empty net. The goal
stood, despite shouts for offside with Kirk loitering behind the out-rushing Callum
Maher when the ball was played.

The lead should probably have been doubled moments later, as Ward-Baptiste
again found himself released on goal, but an outstanding Chris Hall challenge
prevented him from scoring, before Murray fired the rebound against the legs of

Somewhat against the run of play, a long ball through the channel unleashed
Clive Makoni, whose pace took him away from the defender and gave the forward
the yard he needed to beat Lloyd Irish at his near post, and score Bashley’s first
league goal since October in the process.

The teams weren’t level for long, as Town forward Graham Mercieca plucked a
diagonal ball out of the air to fire a delicious half-volley beyond Callum Maher.
Jamie Short then went on to make it 3-1 shortly afterwards, collecting a Jamie
Price throw from the right-hand side, before expertly beating two men and sliding
a low drive under the body of Maher in the Bashley goal.

That’s the way it would stay until the break, before the second half provided
similar entertainment for the 108 in attendance. Aidan Chainey was unfortunately
stretchered from the field of play not long after the interval with what looked a
serious ankle problem, but that loss didn’t detract either side from attacking with

Half-chances were created and squandered at either end, but it wasn’t until the
82nd minute that the game really came to life. With Bashley pushing and looking
to get themselves back into the game, a corner was headed out, only for Bash
midfielder Ashley Booker to unleash a stunning left-footed volley in return that
bounced off the base of the post, leaving the crowd in awe.  Booker did quickly
get his goal however, firing home a loose ball following some ping-ball in the
Taunton box.

With Bashley pushing higher and higher up the field, the game was effectively
finished in the fourth minute of stoppage time as a long ball caught Maher
unawares, the goalkeeper clattering his own man having raced out of goal,
leaving the ball to be squared to Ward-Baptiste and the forward wasn’t to waste
another opportunity, slotting into the bottom corner to destroy any hope of an
equaliser the hosts may have had.
After watching his charges agonisingly lose at home to Taunton Town, from the
Bashley management team Paul Morris said; "One thing the lads have got is
100% commitment, they showed it today, it's just that little bit of quality we
need, hopefully we might attract another couple of players to the club.

"Every single game we have to think we got to get points here and keep
plugging away, that's all we can do. You can't fault their attitude is absolutely
spot on, that's all you can do take each game as it comes.

"Looking ahead to Wimborne, every game at the moment is a big game for us
which doesn’t matter. We actually looked like we were going forward and score
today which it hasn't been for the last five, six or seven games and that's
definitely a positive looking ahead to the games we have over the Christmas
period. Fingers crossed we will pick up some points".

Maher C, Keith, Maher D (Speechley-Price M), Morris (Booker), Hall (C), Aimson,
Makoni, Cullingford, Speechley-Price L, Hoey, Bosma (Coombes).

Unused sub(s): Dunne

Attendance: 108
(A Members Club Founded 1947)
Bashley Road | Bashley | New Milton | Hampshire | BH25 5RY
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