Match Preview: Evo Stick South Premier Division South
Basingstoke Town v Staines Town (The Swans)
When: Saturday 9th February 2019 Kick-off 3.00pm
Where: The Camrose, Basingstoke. RG22 6EZ
Well our Tuesday night performance couldn’t match the massive win we had at Weymouth, and we now entertain bottom-placed Staines Town at the Camrose, in what is expected by many in the crowd as a home-banker. Well if we hadn’t all relied on bankers, we may not have had the financial crash back in 2008.
We do know this game will be competitive and despite all the rumours coming out of the club at the moment, the Swans will travel down to Hampshire with nothing to lose, and we will need to be on our best to navigate the victory.
Back in late October, we travelled to Wheatsheaf Park and on a bright sunny day, deservedly came away with a 3-0 win. A first half goal by Argent, then two quality goals, firstly a 30-yard curling shot by Jack McKnight, then a lovely one-two move, between Argent & Wright, which saw Argent finish from 8yds out.
Staines Town are currently managed by both Kevin Rowell and Sam Codling after Rob Easom left the club back in November. The Swans according to their website, are currently involved in a legal dispute with a counter party which include but is not limited to potential criminal charges against the other party which have directly affected the football club as a result. They also have issues raising funds as they are not in control of the club bar, thus losing a vital source of revenue.
On the football side they sit rock-bottom of the league with just 3 wins and 25 losses from 28 matches, with just 9pts they sit a massive 22pts away from safety. Having scored just29 goals and conceded 83, that gives them a massive -54 goal difference.
Like a lot of clubs, due to the weather Staines Town haven’t had a match since the 26th January. In this game they lost 3-1 at Kings Langley. That day they scored a late consolation goal by young 19 year-old Luke Wright. To be honest they have scored a lot of consolation goals as they are currently on a 14 game losing streak. Yes 14, this means they haven’t won since back to the 10th November when they edged Swindon Supermarine 2-1 at home.
With just 29 goals, their leading goal-scorer is forward Andy Ali with just 4 goals, and midfielders Ruudi Clarke and Finley Tapp with 2 goals each. A whole host of players have come and gone this season and their team looks to be a lot younger than our club.
Well Basingstoke head into this game with a chance for its first double of the season and the forward line will now be spearheaded by the partnership of Sam Argent and Manny Williams who has joined on a month-long loan deal.
Our team has a list of injured players on their way back. Tuesday also saw injuries to young Chelsea loanee Jack Wakely and Captain Charlie Kennedy. It is hoped Wakely will be back to bolster the defence alongside the returning Dan Bayliss. It is unclear how long defenders Shane Hollamby and Kennedy will be out for?
I am hoping that the improving partnership of Sam Deadfield & Harry Pearse in midfield will lead the team forward and would hope to see another start for Kian Duncan, who has impressed the Camrose faithful so far. Sam Smart will no doubt be given his roving wing role, so depending on what formation Martin Kuhl goes, one or two players may be starting on the bench. This is likely to include Zidane Akers who showed some form in the last 20 mins of Tuesday’s loss to Salisbury, Dan Collier who was absent Tuesday night and midfielder James Granger.
We still sit in 17th place, but with a win Saturday and with other results going our way, we could move up four places to 13th in the league. A loss would be simply disastrous!
There’s simply a lot more at stake for Basingstoke and weather and pitch permitting, Stoke will have another 3pts in the bag by 4.45pm on Saturday.
Odds please Ian, when you get the chance.
Match Preview by Martin French