Paulton Rovers 1

Bashley 2

Paulton Rovers suffered a damaging defeat against Bashley, who managed to distance themselves from the relegation zone with the win.

The match started with promising signs for Rovers, with new signings Theo Mara, Joe Hall, and Milo Murgatroyd making positive contributions.

In the 9th minute the hardworking Martin Lenihan, having cleverly reached a good position in Bashley’s penalty area, was brought down. Butcher made no mistake with an emphatic penalty to put Rovers in front.

Rovers’ defence was being stretched by the Bashley forwards but were coping well. Phillips needed to pull off another fine save to prevent Lewis Ross from scoring an equaliser. Oliver Sully, playing at centre forward for Rovers, was beginning to cause problems, holding the ball up well, showing strong running and good ball control. One effort from him was comfortably caught by Ross Casey in the Bashley goal – a most vociferous keeper.

Following some intense pressure from Bashley, and on the stroke of half time, a fine cross-field move ended with Whiteley lashing the ball across Phillips and into the net to make the scores level.

Paulton began the second half with vigour, but Bashley continued to play the more controlled football, with their forwards a constant threat. Whiteley fired over the bar from a good position, while Phillips bravely saved at the feet of two onrushing Bashley forwards and was injured in the process.

Paulton then had a better spell with Butcher, Sully and Murgatroyd prominent, but crosses were overhit or misdirected and clear chances were few. Substitute Jamarni Langlais, involved in one good move with Butcher and Murgatroyd, just failed to get his shot away. Pashen had a shot saved by Casey, following good work from Chris Peck, and Butcher fired over the bar.

But in the 79th minute, good Bashley play on the left saw Wilcock pass across to Luke Delaney whose shot from 20 yards beat Phillips to put the away team ahead. Rovers tried hard to recover but, in truth, did not have the quality to test Casey again.

Late on, although Hall and Butcher started promising moves, an effective end product was not forthcoming. Bashley, with a bit of time wasting, had few problems in seeing out a game which they largely controlled. A nasty injury to Rovers’ Pashen only heightened the feeling of despondency felt by the Rovers faithful as they trooped away to buy their last-minute Mother’s Day flowers.

Noel Avis