By Bashley Football Club | Mike Cranidge | Monday 19th January 2015


North Leigh completed a goal glut double over their favourite whipping boys
finishing with an aggregated two game score of 17-1! There was however some
solace for Bash as today’s game was no walkover with three of The Millers’
goals being scored directly from free kicks with a skill rarely shown at this level
even after allowing for some indifferent defensive positioning.

North Leigh lived up to their billing as a powerful opponent whilst an evenly
matched first half gave some credence to Bashley’s improvement of late. The
return of star stopper Callum Maher in goal was somewhat nullified by the
absence through injury of front men Clive Makoni and Leighton Speechley-Price
plus influential central defender Lewis Aimson but despite this Bashley had their
fair share of procession and chances, if not so luck and vital decisions.

The Millers took less than a minute to announce their intentions with striker
Jamie Cook attempting to lob Callum Maher from some distance; three minutes
later Bashley livewire Jack Hoey was apparently taken out with some force when
on sight of goal but no foul was given much to the surprise of home supporters.
Play was now end to end until Kieran Sanders took charge by slotting home a
pullback by Elliot Osborne-Ricketts almost immediately after having a goal
disallowed for offside.

Nuno Pereira was fouled outside of the box and Hoey’s delightful free kick went
agonisingly wide. Minutes later Hoey latched onto a defence splitting through
ball from Ryan Brading only to be brought down just short of the penalty area.
This time his inch-perfect free kick was tipped round the post by a relived Matt

At the other end Cook headed wide after a period of stout defending by the Bash
defence. Adam Pearson, under pressure, lingered too long on the ball when just
five yards from goal and his attempt to clear was adjudged a back pass by the
referee. The resulting free kick was blocked by a solid wall of gold and black.

Bashley were not so fortunate on the stoke of halftime when a foul by Connor
Cullingford on the edge of the box was punished by North Leigh wing-back,
Stuart Hole, whose fierce free kick gave Maher no chance and sent the visitors
into halftime with a two goal lead.

Head coach Tom Prodomo was quick to make changes with Ashley Booker
replacing Brading. Booker slotted into midfield with Cullingford joining Hoey up
front. Hardly had these changes taken place when North Leigh were awarded
another edge of the box free kick which Hole once again dispatched with aplomb
giving him a score of two perfect kicks, two perfect goals in the space of three
playing minutes!
Bash upped their running game and were starting to look dangerous when a Zac
Westlake headed goal made the score 0-4. Rather than waive the white flag,
Bashley continued to press forward and when the ball was half-cleared after a
prolonged attack Hoey smashed the return high into the net (57 mins).

Now fully charged, the Black and Gold army turned the screw until yet another
box edge free kick was awarded to North Leigh and this time left fullback
Michael Hopkins repeated the now familiar scenario with another superlative
dead-ball effort and in doing so the drew the curtains on any chance of a Bash

Aaron Dunne came on for Petty and Hoey continued to threaten but once Aaron
Woodley took full advantage of a fumbled half-save by Maher to make the score
1-6 the game was up for Bashley. Mitch Coombes came on for Pereira and
Bashley to their credit never faltered in their efforts but they had been well
beaten by a strong, confident North Leigh side and their misery increased when
Dan Maher was helped from the pitch in added time with a painful groin injury. 

Assistant coach Paul Morris was left with no doubt the causes of defeat, he
explained; “Ok 6-1, four from silly free kicks, there’s no need to give free kicks
away. We said before the game stay on our feet whatever you do don’t dive in.
Two you couldn’t do anything about, they were hell of a goals, it’s just frustrating
again. It also looked like we lacked a bit of fitness today, they were sharp, we
went back into our shell, scared of the opponents and we showed them a bit too
much respect today.

Like any sport confidence is a must for any sportsperson, with confidence
looking very much like it was lacking Morris added; “Football is a simple game,
as long as you have the ball the other team can’t anything with it. We have to
forget about today’s game and get back the self-belief again, that’s what we
lacked today and I don’t know why. Those games against teams down by us are
winnable. I know North Leigh don’t travel well, so I fancied today but it wasn’t to
be, they were far superior than us full stop, and we have to hold our hands up to

“As soon as we have the self confidence back with our own ability and other
players’ abilities, we will get points without a shadow of a doubt,” concluded

Maher C, Petty (Dunne), Maher D, Morris, Hall (c), Pearson, Pereira (Coombes),
Cullingford, Brading (Booker), Hoey, Bosma.

Unused sub(s): Lambourne, Dodd.

Attendance: 125
(A Members Club Founded 1947)
Bashley Road | Bashley | New Milton | Hampshire | BH25 5RY
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