By Bashley Football Club | Mike Cranidge | Sunday 25th January 2015


It is perhaps indicative of Bashley’s present situation that the opposition,
expecting an easy ride, are often thrown at the start by Bash’s energy and skills
but as the game wears on the gap between those with Southern League
credentials and those without begins to open. It is self-evident that any team
operating on a zero budget and consisting in the main of young, inexperienced
players drawn from the lower leagues will be at a disadvantage when facing
established Southern League players acquired with, and cocooned by, a playing
budget. In football as in life you get what you pay for.

Such was the case at the DCS Stadium were Stratford were surprised by
Bashley’s confident start with Aaron Dunne being especially bullish with probing
runs down the flank. Stratford’s only effort of note during this opening period was
a shot that sailed over the bar. Bash continued to keep their shape and play neat
football despite the heavy pitch. The Town’s first attack of any note was repelled
by a fine saving tackle by Lewis Aimson whilst at the other end another forward
surge by Dunne troubled The Town defence.

The turning point came in the 20th minute when Chris Sterling was brought down
from behind by Bash Captain, Chris Hall. A penalty was awarded despite claims
that it happened outside of the box and Alex Price sent Callum Maher the wrong
way to give Stratford the lead. There was some relief in the Bash camp when
Hall was shown a yellow card as a red would have not been a surprise. 

The game was now open, Brad Morris, Bouwe Bosma and Dunne saw a well
worked move fizzle out whilst another move involving Connor Cullingford and
Bosma ended with Dunne shooting over the bar. However it was Stratford who
scored next when a through pass by Trey Braithwaite was latched onto by
Sterling who gave Maher no chance (32). Bash came back strongly and finished
the half in style with Jack Hoey hitting the bar and having another shot well
saved by Andy Kemp whilst Dunne continued to look dangerous.

Bashley started the second half as they finished the first with Hoey prominent
and tricky wing-back Dammy Bada playing a more forward role. Then after a goal
mouth mêlée in the 56th minute Aaron Stringfellow netted for Stratford and the
game was virtually over. Bashley lost shape but to their credit never heart and
six minutes later loose marking in the box allowed Town’s Loyiso Recci to stoup
low to head in goal number four.

Bashley had now gone to pieces and comic cuts defending gifted Sterling his
second goal (67). Bash were now in melt down, Dunne was lucky to escape with
a yellow card after a crashing tackle and Brad Morris entered the ref’s book soon
after. By now, Bashley had all three subs on the field to little affect and Dunne
spoilt what had been an impressive performance by taking out his frustration on
an innocent advertising board and getting a second yellow and an early bath.
Whilst all this was going on Kevin Charley slipped in almost unnoticed to make
the score 6-0 (87) and draw the curtain on an unhappy second half for Bashley.

A very disappointed head coach Tom Prodomo commented, “Very disappointing,
again it’s a flurry of goals that’s so disappointing, so many of them avoidable.
You are always going to concede at some point no matter how well you defend,
but in terms of giving away avoidable goals we’re not helping ourselves. When
Paul and myself got involved the team hadn’t scored in a long time, you can’t
rely on outscoring sides so we have to make sure that we are switched on all
through the game and unfortunately for us we are doing it in patches.

Not totally out played by the home side, Bashley kept plugging away with some
flashes that could so easily of produced a couple of goals, Prodomo added, “We
look really organised for 20 to 25 minutes and then we concede and concede
again in quick succession. It doesn’t allow us to build any rhythm in the game
and makes it difficult for the boys psychologically, you have to be realistic about
it, a lot of the boys have been here since the start of the season and it’s been a
long hard road for them, to keep picking themselves up its difficult. But it’s
important that we go out with a strong mentality, start strong and keep
ourselves in games and trust ourselves to come through which isn’t easy given
the position that we’re in but at the end of the day we have a couple of months
to turn it all around and if we don’t change our mind-set quite quickly then as we
have said previously we are running out of weeks and time.

There were several strong physical tackles in the match, with a young
developing side at Bashley struggling in this area Prodomo explained
“Physicality is a big issue for us, we have to be clever with it, we have talked
with the boys in how they receive the ball, our speed of play, as every touch we
have, gives them a chance to come and be physical with us. We have to find
solutions in the changing rooms with the players we have. We could sit back
each week and say they have a big budget and are physically bigger than us,
they have a bigger stadium, they’ve got more ex-pros but we have to find some
real solutions rather than pointing out areas that we are lacking in.

In conclusion Prodomo summed up the situation, “Ultimately I think we showed
that we can compete and be effective, but I said to the boys to play at this level
that they need a certain level of competitiveness within them and at what point
did it become acceptable that we only concede so many goals. We lost but
were close to them, we have to set our standards at points and anything below
that we are letting ourselves, the club and supporters down. It’s easy to say that
we have had some honest words after the game both players and coaches again
we have to move forward and look to next week, we can’t be negative or dwell,
we have to learn our lesson and go again.”

Maher, Petty, Bada, Morris (Booker), Hall (c), Aimson, Dunne, Cullingford, Pereira
(Speechley-Price M), Hoey, Bosma (Brading).

Unused sub(s):

Attendance: 198
(A Members Club Founded 1947)
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