Petersfield Town eased their way into the second round of the Russell Cotes Cup with an impressive 5-0 win at Bashley tonight.
Joe Richardson struck twice, with Andy Todd, substitute Oliver Bailey and a late own goal ensuring the ruthless Rams’ progress on a cold night in the New Forest.
The game proved an even contest in the opening 20 minutes as both teams tried to assert control on a soft pitch in the New Forest.
But it was the Rams who seized the initiative and control of proceedings when they broke the deadlock with 25 minutes on the clock.
Lively striker Todd saw his run to goal halted as he attempted to dribble though the home defence, but the alert Richardson was on hand to pick up the loose ball, drive into the penalty area and fire low past Bashley goalkeeper Rob Gillett.
It was a lead Ian Saunders’ side doubled on the half-hour mark, when David Jerrard’s pinpoint cross was guided high into the net by the head of Todd from close range.
And Petersfield had all-but sealed their progress into the next round by the interval when Sean Wain found Richardson unmarked at the far post to drive the ball low into the net for a 3-0 advantage.
It was a case of more of the same in the second half as dominant Petersfield stretched their lead to four with 12 minutes left on the clock, thanks to sub Bailey.
He latched onto a through ball, holding off several challenges from the home defenders on his way into the box, before dispatching his shot under the helpless Gillett and into the net.
And the scoring was completed on a night to remember for the Rams with five minutes left on the clock.
Joe Briggs crossed the ball low from the right, with Bashley substitute Gary Rogers succeeding only in diverting it into his own net.
Elsewhere, Bognor saw off the challenge of Eastbourne Town to progress to the next round of the Sussex Senior Cup with an emphatic 6-1 win at Nyewood Lane.
Teenager Alfie Rutherford hit a hat-trick, with Doug Tuck, Jason Prior and Sami El-Abd also on target for Jamie Howell’s side.
– GRAEME MOIR