Saturday, 6 October 2012

Report: Bashley 0-4 Poole Town - FA Trophy 1st Qual Rd replay

Carl Preston
ANOTHER heavy Bashley defeat may have followed the loss of the opening goal, but this time it was as much about Carl Preston’s virtuoso performance for Poole Town as it was the host’s capitulation.

But that and the fact the losing margins are getting smaller will be scant consolation for the Bash faithful.

Shipping six against Hemel and five against Barwell was bad enough, but to lose so comprehensively to lower league opposition and local rivals will really stick in the throat for the New Forset outfit.

Again, this was a solid enough performance from Bash until they conceded, but once the Dolphins had their opener the host’s resistance quickly disintegrated.

That said there was plenty of force behind the gust that blew the house down as Preston’s hat-trick marked a fearsome return to form for the former AFC Bournemouth youngster.

A scrappy opening half an hour had little tempo with Bashley creating two half chances, Matt Finlay’s stretch was not enough to connect with a loose ball at the far post before James Stokoe’s cool control and smart turn was wasted with a tame finish.

In truth, though, Poole’s game plan worked effectively as they controlled the game with a quiet authority before a moment of magic ultimately decided the destiny of this tie.

Preston was alive to nip in behind Josh Casey and get to the byline in the 32nd minute, working the perfect amount of space to curl the ball across Stuart Moore and find the bottom far corner.

Four minutes later, Preston almost added a second that would have rivalled Gareth Bale’s solo effort for Spurs in Milan two years ago – a mazy run from the half way line left Brad Strickland and Ian Richardson for dead but Moore raced off his line to smother the low effort.

Ragged Bashley soon conceded a second though with pacy Preston at the hub of the home side’s panic, darting down the left and crossing for Gary Middleton to scuff into his own net from the uncomfortable position of facing his own goal.

A slick move just after the hour provided the third with Adam Kelly and Karim Benssaouda zipping the ball around statues with Preston rounding Moore to coolly slot home.

Poole’s persistent predator earned a shot at his hat-trick nine minutes from time by further terrorising Richardson, drawing a handball from the former Totton stopper as he tried in vain to stop a cross from the left – Preston despatched the spot kick to Moore’s left with aplomb.

Ian Oliver and Pearce Farren entered the fray for Bashley and added some endeavour – the two substitutes combined for Farren to clip the frame of the goal late on, but that didn’t mask the problems facing Frank Gray at the moment.

He needs to pick his players up and fast – the goals are flying in at an alarming rate as soon as Bash concede. Poole, however, will be pleased to get through a tie they were so close to losing first time around – this was the type of form everyone expects from Tom Killick’s men and there would have been many Premier Division teams struggling to contain them on this kind of form.

BASHLEY: Moore, Smith, Casey, Strickland, Middleton (Oliver 70), I Richardson, Finlay, Hill, Stokoe (Farren 77), Jenkinson, Knight.

Unused subs: Gazzard, Vokes, Kearn (g/k).

POOLE TOWN: Hutchings, Baines, Spetch, Emmerson, Walker, Dibba (S Richardson 66), Burbidge, Devlin, S Brown (Benssaouda 50), Preston, Kelly (Wilson 79).

Unused subs: O’Donnell, T Brown (g/k). 

Goals: Preston 32, 61, 81(p), Middleton 42(og).

STAR MAN: Carl Preston (Poole Town)

It was always a matter of when rather than if Preston would find his form again as both Poole and their talented wideman have yet to hit top gear this season – until now. It is no coincidence that one of the Dolphins’ best displays this season came on a night when everything went right for their key man. Poole were imperious and unstoppable with one man taking them from stoic to sensational – Carl Preston.


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