Non-league: Wheeler injured as ex-boss Riley haunts Bash

Bashley loan recruit Elliot Wheeler suffered a badly gashed leg as AFC Totton’s former Recreation Ground stars haunted their former club.

Totton boss Steve Riley, who managed Bash for seven years, claimed a 3-0 victory on his return in the Southern Premier showdown last night.

A Totton squad containing six ex-Bash players prevailed after goals from James Coutts and familiar faces Dave Allen and Richard Gillespie.

Bashley’s woes were compounded with the loss to injury of Wheeler in his first appearance since joining on a temporary move from Portsmouth.

The debutant suffered the cut in a 50-50 challenge early in the first half and played on until half-time after not realising the extent of the damage.

Bash boss Frank Gray told the Daily Echo: “It was disappointing and probably the worst thing of the night. He did well for us in the first half and didn’t realise until half-time that he had a really nasty cut on his shin.

“It was quite a bad gash and he went to hospital and had it stitched. He’ll be out for a few weeks now.”

On his return to familiar territory, Riley watched as former Bash captain Allen set up James Coutts for a 39th-minute opener.

Rob Gradwell came close to levelling after the break before Gray opted to chase an equaliser when he introduced winger Charlie Knight in place of centre-half Gary Middleton.

But the gamble did not pay off as Allen and Bash goalscoring legend Gillespie sealed victory for the visitors.

Gray added: “We started the game fairly well but for the remainder of the first half, we gave them a bit too much respect. We sat back and invited them on.

“We tried to be a bit more positive in the second half and, for the first 25 minutes, we more than matched them and we were the team on the offensive. We decided to take off a defender and put on a forward and, in doing that, we conceded two late goals.”

Bash: Moore, Wheeler (Bell, h-t), Oliver, Stephenson, Middleton (Knight, 70), Richardson, Casey, Gradwell, Stokoe, Gamble, Jenkinson. Unused subs: Hill, Strickland, Foster.

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