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Sub Gradwell sinks Kettering as Bash end winless run
SUPER-SUB Rob Gradwell took the plaudits after Bashley had fought back to eventually beat cellar-dwellers Kettering Town, ending their eight-match winless run.
The former Basingstoke frontman came off the bench to score a sublime equaliser and play a part in two more goals after the struggling Poppies had given Bash an almighty first-half scare.
Boss Frank Gray also singled out goalkeeper Stuart Moore for praise at full-time as the Reading loanee’s heroics prevented the hosts from being more than a goal down at the break.
Lewis Wilson outpaced Ian Richardson to prod beyond Moore as Kettering bossed the opening 45 minutes, but Bash rallied after the break and the introduction of Gradwell gave Gray’s shot-shy side a cutting edge.
After scoring just three goals in eight league matches, Bash were suddenly celebrating as many in 14 second-half minutes.
Gradwell’s chip after a clever one-two with James Stokoe levelled matters before Charlie Knight’s low drilled effort put the hosts in the driving seat. Stokoe’s late volley wrapped up the points.
A relieved Gray told the Daily Echo: “It was important to fight back after a poor first-half performance.
“I told the lads at the end of the game the man they had to thank for that win was Stuart Moore because he kept us in the game. We could easily have been 3-0 down at half-time.
“We shuffled it around a bit and played higher up the pitch, which worked well for us, and then Rob came on and changed the game.
“He’s not had the best of times since arriving, he’ll admit that himself, but he is a threat when he is on song and a good frontman.
“We know all about what he can do. He has played at a higher level and maybe he had a bit of a point to prove. He certainly did that.”
Bash: Moore, Strickland, Knight, Finlay, Middleton (Oliver, 69), Richardson, Casey, Colson, Stokoe, Gamble, Hill (Gradwell, 61). Unused subs: Stephenson, Gazzard, Kearn (g/k).