Bashley FCPremier Division
Ground: Bashley Recreation Ground
Nickname: "The Bash"
- Formed:1947 & joined Wessex League:1986
- Chairman: Laurence Flanagan – 07742 108921
- Secretary: Mike Cranidge - 07591 187663 / 01425 620532
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.bashleyfc.org.uk
- Clubhouse: Yes
- Midweek: Tuesday
- Colours: Gold shirts, Black shorts, Black socks
- Alt. colours: White shirts, Blue shorts, Blue socks
- Sat Nav: BH25 5RY
Wetherspoons: "The Six Bells" 47-48 St Thomas Street Lymington SO41 9ND
- Bashley FC,Bashley Recreation Ground,BH25 5RY
Directions: From the North – B3058 bear right at the Rising Sun PH, Bashley Village and the ground is on the left after the Esso filling station. From the South – Leave New Milton cross roundabout and the ground is on the right after Redcliffe Nursery.
Honours:League Winners: 1986/1987 | 1987/1988 | 1988/1989 Combination Cup Runners-up: 1999/2000 | 2008/2009
Bashley Football Club was founded in 1947 and joined the Bournemouth League in 1950, progressing through the ranks before leaving in 1983 to join the Hampshire League. In 1986 they became founder members of the Wessex League and won the title for the first three years they took part, 1986/87, 1987/88 and 1988/89. In the 1987/88 season, Bashley came to national prominence after an incredible run in the FA Vase, which came to an end they reached the semi-finals, losing narrowly to Emley in the second leg of the semi-final after a 0-0 draw at the Recreation Ground.
Following their third Wessex League title, the club were accepted into the Southern League Southern Division and amazingly won the title in their first season, gaining promotion to the Premier Division. Things almost got even better the following season as Bash led the table for a long period of time and were in contention for promotion to the Conference, but fell away towards the end to finish in fourth place. Sadly, the meteoric rise of the club came to an end as a result of relegation two years later back to the Southern Division.
In the 1994/95 season, Bashley reached the First Round proper of the FA Cup for the first time, and won 1-0 at Chesham to set up a Second Round tie with Swansea at the Recreation Ground. Despite losing 1-0, Lee Walker hit the post in injury time and Richie Paskins had a clear chance which wasn’t taken as Bash almost caused a huge upset.
More recently, Bash had established themselves as a mid-table Southern Division side until August 1997 when ex-European Cup Winner Jimmy Case was appointed as manager and Bash were promotion challengers during the 1997-98 season, eventually finishing third and just missing out on a return to the Premier Division, as well as having our record FA Trophy run in this season to the last sixteen, losing narrowly at Conference side Hayes.
Bash came to prominence again when their excellent young midfielder Wade Elliott signed for AFC Bournemouth in January 2000 for £5,000, with Bash receiving further money based on appearances. Wade then progressed to the Championship with Burnley and scored the goal at Wembley that took them into the Premiership and has now moved to Birmingham City.
The 2001/2002 season was notable for a superb FA Trophy run, ended only by finalists, Stevenage Borough of the Conference, with an unfortunate 1-0 defeat. A top six place was achieved in the 2002/03 season, although Bashley were top of the table for a spell in January and February and but for a five game spell in February and March from which they took only one point, would have been challenging strongly for promotion. The season was capped by a first ever Hampshire Senior Cup final, secured by two memorable victories over then Dr Martens Premier Division side Havant & Waterlooville in the two-legged semi-final. The night of the final at Southampton s St Mary’s Stadium was another superb occasion for the club despite an eventual 2-1 defeat to Conference bound Aldershot Town after taking a first half lead, and no-one who was there will how close Bash came to defeating their illustrious opponents.
The 2003/2004 season was a relative disappointment after the heights of the previous campaign, with Barry Blankley resigning early on in the season and leading players Paul Sales, Craig Davis and Aaron Cook departing for substantial transfer fees. Bashley narrowly missed out on promotion to the Isthmian Premier Division under new manager John Robson and had to settle for a place in Isthmian Division One, as a result of FA restructuring.
Robson departed as manager at the end of the season, and Geoff Butler was appointed in the summer with Ricky Haysom remaining as his assistant. Bash recovered from losing a number of players in the close-season and made an encouraging start to the new season, chasing a play-off spot and playing some attractive football, but lost key players during the season and had to settle for a mid-table finish.
Butler and Haysom departed during the summer of 2005 and Dave Wakefield took charge as player/manager for the new season. However, after a poor start to the season, both Wakefield and player/coach Andy Darnton were relieved of their responsibilities with Steve Riley taking over as player/manager, following a short spell as caretaker manager, with Eddie Harper as his assistant. An excellent run in the second half of the season took Bash to just outside the play off places, and gave hope that the 2006-7 season would be successful. A number of close season signings gave the Bashley faithful renewed cause for optimism. They were not to be disappointed!
As a result of further FA restructuring, Bash found themselves transferred back into the Southern League South and West Division, and enjoyed an unforgettable record-breaking season, winning the league by an incredible 28 points and achieving a rare double century of 102 points and 111 goals, including a spell of 27 League matches unbeaten from October 27th 2006 to March 31st 2007, which was broken only after the league title had been secured. Promotion was an all-round team effort, Bash having the most prolific attack and the meanest defence in the league. Richard Gillespie finished up with 41 goals, the highest total in any of the Southern League divisions, and along the way broke the club all time goal scoring record held by Colin Cummings, which had stood for over thirty years.
Bashley acquitted themselves very well in the Southern League Premier Division the following season, and finished in fifth place at the higher level, despite long term injuries to key players. The 2007-08 season unfortunately ended in disappointment with a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Team Bath in the play-off semi-final, a result that was particularly harsh on Bashley. Again, Bashley’s defence was one of the best in the league, whilst Richard Gillespie and Ryan Moss both finished in the top 10 goal scorers in the division.
Moss moved on to Conference South side Dorchester Town, but manager Steve Riley brought in a number of new signings, which allied to the retention of most of the side who had been so successful in the previous two campaigns, left Bashley quietly confident of mounting another assault at the top of the table. Unfortunately, 2008-9 was to be a very different season. For long periods during the winter, Bash were in the bottom four, although a run of five straight wins right at the end of the season led to a final position of 14th, well clear of the relegation zone.
The summer of 2009 saw the departure of club record top scorer Richard Gillespie to Blue Square South side Eastleigh, having scored 173 goals in 308 appearances. Steve Riley appointed long serving defender Chris Ferrett as player-coach to replace assistant manager Martin Doolan, who had immigrated to New Zealand, whilst the signing of striker Mark Gamble from Farnborough ensured that Bash could enter the 2009-10 season with renewed hope of being competitive in a strong League.
Bashley exceeded expectations in the 2009/10 season, briefly topping the table after a 5-0 win at Tiverton in October. They spent the vast majority of the season in a play-off place, only to surrender their grip on a top five finish on the final day of the season with defeat at Nuneaton. An impressive FA Trophy run saw Bash through to an encounter with Conference National side, Crawley Town, who edged the tie at Bashley Road by the odd goal in five. The campaign provided some tremendous entertainment and although they lost a number of key players at the start of 2010-11, Bash rallied to secure a top half finish by the end of the season, meaning that they could look forward with quiet confidence to the start of the 2011-12 season.
After a good start, however, Bash struggled during the middle of the season and suffered losses to lower ranked opposition in all four cup competitions. A solid run towards the end of the season ensured Premier Division survival, although Steve Riley and Chris Ferrett left the club during the summer to take up similar roles with AFC Totton. Bash appointed the former Basingstoke Town management team of Frank Gray and Gerry Murphy for the 2012-13 season but the side struggled in the lower reaches of the division finishing in 17th place and again going out of all Cup competitions at the first round stage.
2013-14 Major changes within the club structure and a degree of uncertainty led to Club stalwarts Paul Gazzard and goalkeeping legend Stewart Kearn being given the daunting task of re-building the team which necessitated a series of budget cuts. Alas results mainly went against Bashley, several players moved on to pastures new after a mid-season restructuring which also saw Stewart Kearn step down from his management position. Shortly afterwards the experienced John Pyatt from Brockenhurst FC filled the vacant position to undertake the hard task with Paul Gazzard trying to steer the New Forest side away from the relegation zone, with just a handful of wins the club was relegated to the South and West Division.
The exit of players together with a lack of club executives and sponsors put the club in a perilous position. Bashley, despite the actions of loyal fans and supporters who contributed to a ‘Save Bashley’ appeal which allowed the club to see out the season were very close to being wound up. At the last moment a major re-organisation with the broom firmly brushing many players, staff and helpers into the past which saw Bashley start season 2014-15 on a zero budget with a team of new young players and the return of Andy Darnton as joint manager alongside Graham Speechley-Price.
Darnton resigned his position as manager in mid-October 2014 with Graham Speechley-Price also stepping down to allow Martin Spiers take the reins, Graham concentrated his efforts in a commercial role within the club. Spiers role only lasted a few weeks with Dominic Cuncliffe taking over the hot seat following Spiers resignation towards the end of November 2014. Cuncliffe assistant was Paul Morris who doubled up with Tom Prodomo with assistance behind the scenes from Graham after Cuncliffe resigned his position out of the blue in December.
At the start of February 2015 Graham was asked by the Executive to take over as caretaker manager until the end of the season which resulted in Prodomo leaving the club. With the zero budget still in place Speechley-Price battled through to the end of the season with Bashley generally playing well but losing due to small mistakes which everyone will have now learned from. A mighty effort was needed to finish away from the relegation zone, although some good bright performances late on in the season but they were not regular enough, a bottom of the pile and relegation was the result.
Meanwhile Bashley Reserves under the guidance of Andy Howard took the 2014-15 Wyvern League title in fine style showing there is promise ahead for the New Forest Club and an exciting 2015-16 season for the reserves.
The FA gave Bashley a reprieve in May 2015, rather than a drop down to the Wessex League. Southern League football continued at Bashley Road in the South and West Division for the 2015-16 season. A new management team was appointed late June 2015 with ex-Chelsea, Millwall and Leyton Orient player David Stride arrived as manager, assisted by his brother Glen an ex-Bournemouth player. These appointments lasted just a month.
Following the club’s AGM, a new Executive consisting of four life vice-presidents and new Chairman elected to bring in their own new management team. This meant a return to Bashley Road for Steve Riley taking over the hot seat assisted by Paul Morris. Following a run of 15 league defeats Riley resigned his position leaving Bashley to look for a new manager.
After a brief spell during the 2014-15 season Tom Prodomo was asked to return to head the first team, towards the end of November. Several good candidates were considered but Prodomo’s appointment by the board was considered the best for the future of the club.
Bashley were relegated to the Wessex League following a 201516 season without a single win and a mere two draws. The club now looks forward to new challenges in the future with rebuilding a competitive, strong and self-sufficient club the priority.
Prodomo pledged his immediate future to the Bash faithful aiming to start preparations early to get a full season under his belt rather than playing catch up as has been the case over recent seasons.
Bashley Football Club Honours List:
- South & West Division, winners, 2006/2007
- Southern Division, winners, 1989/1990
- League cup, semi-finalists, 1989/1990, 1997/1998
- League, winners, 1986/1987,1987/1988, 1988/1989
- Division 3, winners,1984/1985
- Combination, winners,1988/1989
- Semi-finalists 1987/1988
- Quater-finalists 1988/1989
HANTS SENIOR CUP:
- Finalists 2002/2003
RUSSELL COTES CUP:
- Winners 1985/1986, 1990/1991, 1992/1993
WYVERN LEAGUE DIVISION 1 WEST:
- Winners 2014/2015