Around the League in 48Hrs
Ok this week’s report will spend more time looking at our win in the Hampshire Cup match, but will first focus on the only game played in our league this week.
On Tuesday, promoted Beaconsfield Town continued their good start of the season as they ended King Langley’s four game winning streak with a 4-2 win at home at Holloway’s Park.
The Rams leapt into a 3 nil lead with goals by Stead, Matthew and Pashaj after 36 minutes before Luke Wade-Slater pulled a goal back just before half-time to give the Kings some hope as they went into the break. Note that this is Wade-Slaters 5th consecutive match with a goal, and in a total of just 6 appearances this season.
However, their hopes were short lived, as on 51 mins and a second on the night for Pashaj, it gave Beaconsfield their three goal lead back and despite a 9th goal of the season for Mitchell Weiss, Beaconsfield ran out 4-2 winners as they moved upto 7th position in the league.
So, there was 3 games in the Cup this week, starting with Monday night’s 3rd round tie between Southampton and Fleet Town, with Southampton progressing with a 1-0 victory.
Then on Tuesday night the other match to take place was Bournemouth’s (Sat Team) visit to little Blackfield & Langley in the 3rd round, where the away team won by the odd goal 1-2.
This leads us to our visit to Hartley Wintney. As stated in my Match Report, we were clearly the far more dominant team on the night and the 1-3 scoreline did not truly represent the difference in the two teams on the night.
The crowd on the night was quoted as 176, but could and should have been a lot higher, if it hadn’t been for the ridiculous high admission price for a minor cup competition. A number of Basingstoke fans and possibly quite a few home team fans, simply refused to attend and pay that price.
However, to the game and once Stoke got going, we used the pace of the returning Sam Smart on the wing, who for some reason, was given at least 10yds of space when he played out wide right by the left back. This allowed time for Smart to control the ball on the wet surface, then attack at the defender and on most occasions he flew past him. Smart has had a tendency this season to take the ball that one touch too far down the right which cuts down the angle for his shot or cross, but other than that he was full of running and on another night would have scored a couple of goals and created more than just the second goal for Stoke scored by Argent.
The other two goals on the night were scored by Ben Wright, who also had three or four nice touches on the night, but maybe I can be somewhat harsh, but I simply expect more from a player of his clear talent. His anticipation is sometimes missing, and his lack of pace means unless the ball is put to his feet, he will generally lose the battle for the ball against a quicker defender. However, as stated, can we really complain when he bangs in two goals. It’s when he doesn’t score then his performance can be found wanting.
Like a lot of others who have commented in recent weeks, the play of Akers has been far from impressive and is a clear worry for the Management. He has amazing pace and on occasions a superb touch, but his fragility in front of goal will haunt his career, unless he can change.
On a positive note, the team played well together, but there were extra solid performances by Stow and Bayliss, and Argent who always puts in a shift for the team.
Think we missed Collier and McKnight last night as Collier’s presence would have allowed a more attacking Sam Deadfield, which is what all Stoke fans want to see.
My final point is that on a night with a wet greasy surface and a bumpy uneven pitch, we tried to play out from the back and we put undue pressure on our back four when we do this.
I fully understand the team this season are trying to learn to play out from the back, but there is a time and a place for this. On one occasion in the second-half, we had won a throw-in on the halfway line, rather than going forward we threw the ball back, which then under a Hartley player pressure, went back and then even further back to Colm, who under unnecessary pressure sliced it out for a throw-in to the opposition just 25yds away from our goal.
Anyway, we got through and we will be hoping for a home draw in the next round.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s fixtures, we will face a Hendon team who like us did not have a great November either. More on this match-up in my preview due out later on Thursday.
Other decent match-ups in our league this weekend are an improving Poole Town’s visit to Beaconsfield, Tiverton’s visit to the Met Police and Harrow Borough’s visit to league leaders Taunton Town.
Very little change in the Leading goal-scorers table in our league, which currently stands as follows;
Ricardo German – Hendon Town 14
Brandon Goodship – Weymouth 13
Ian Traylor – Merthyr 11
Ryan Penney – Gosport Borough 10
Ryan Moss – Harrow Borough 10
It was good to see Martin Kuhl get his first game in charge on a winning note and I hope he can take that positivity in to Saturday’s match at home to Hendon.
We have some tough matches coming up before the end of the year, which could go along way in shaping our final year at the Camrose.