This was a real local derby as little more than a hefty wayward drop-kick separates the two grounds. Solent were cup winners in 2009 and 2011 and Bush were beaten finalists in 2012. Both teams appear to have put poor starts to their league programmes behind them with some improved recent results. The Test Park pitch was in a fine condition.
Solent went in front when Waller-Lassen [pen], with great pace, was sent sprawling by Wakefield inside the box and he got up to convert from the spot with just ten minutes played. The Solent lads were showing some classy build-up play, mainly through the midfield prompting of Byles but the end product was lacking during that period as chances for Waller-Lassen and Koeries went wide. Bush threatened too as both Harding and Kesby were similarly off target. The Bush performance improved as the half progressed and they levelled in the 36th minute when a free-kick in midfield went to Harding who, having received the ball on the edge of the box with his back to goal, practically out of nothing hit a lovely turning shot on the half-volley that went into the Solent net. HT: 1-1.
Solent grasped the match by the proverbial scruff of the neck in the second half to go on and win most comprehensively. The writing was perhaps on the wall when Bush keeper O’Rourke made a great save at point-blank range when Campbell set-up Koeries with a neat pull-back from the left. Within a couple of minutes Solent did take the lead when Waller-Lassen received a low Orvis corner and laid it back to Byles to strike unerringly into the far corner from the right apex. Within a further minute it was 3-1, you could practically copy and paste the previous goal, the exception being the end product, Byles this time crossing to the back post where Nolan was left clear to head in from a yard or so. Solent skipper Stringer hit the post but it wasn’t long before they added a fourth goal when Orvis played a free-kick into the box and Waller-Lassen manoeuvred well to escape his marker and plant a stooping header home from close in. Waller-Lasson almost turned provider but Byles, at a stretch, steered a chance wide. Waller-Lassen continued to torment the Bush defence, twice showing great feet to first get by keeper O’Rourke but Farminer got across to clear his shot off the line and he then fired just over as Solent were now unrelenting with wave upon wave of attacking play. Waller-Lassen netted a quite extraordinary goal in the 81st minute, receiving a return pass having taken a corner, he dribbled along the dead ball line and with great technique hit a fine effort with the outside of his foot that curled in – a goal to grace any pitch. That completed Waller-Lassen’s hat-trick but within a further minute he got his fourth, an easy finish, after O’Rourke had parried a Wateridge shot. There was time for a Solent seventh, Koeries neat back-heel finding Sheedy to place low into goal. FT: 7-1.
It was a promising start followed by a supreme show in the second half … those of a red persuasion were purring with delight by the end. Bush could take some first half positives and they kept at their task in the second period but few teams could quell the Solent tide when they are on that form. It’s now seven Solent wins on the bounce. [Gary Day]
Photos from @JamesChance5
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