FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round – Saturday 22nd September 2018
Bristol Manor Farm v Basingstoke Town
Another day trip into Somerset in September, for the latest step on our FA Cup journey, which leads us to Bristol Manor Farm.
I am aware that our Director of Football has seen Bristol Manor Farm and rates them as highly as Paulton Rovers.
Bristol Manor Farms, journey in the FA Cup has taken two steps so far beating fellow Evo-Stick South Division South Bideford Town 4 – 2 at the Creek (their home ground) in a replay after a 2-2 draw in the first game. Then whilst we were beating Paulton Rovers, The Farm were taking on Western League Premier division team Chipping Sodbury Town, coming out 0-2 winners on the day.
As stated, Bristol Manor Farm sit one division below us after winning the Western League Premier Division last season. They currently sit in 7th place with a decent record of 2 wins, 2 draws and just 1 loss after 5 matches. However, their last two matches have both been two away draws both 2-2. Last Saturday at Melksham and before that Fleet Town, who for anyone who saw them pre-season were shocking.
However, on their own pitch and with two in-form strikers Owen Howe & Dean Stamp, we must not take them lightly. Owen Howe with 4 league goals joined them at the start of this season from Salisbury, whilst fellow striker Dean Stamp also has four goals in the league this season.
Basingstoke on the other hand are on a run of form, that should worry anyone. With the returning Sam Argent, will they be able to cope with the pace of Sam Smart and Zidan Akers on the wings? If Sam Deadfield is fit enough to play and with stronger performances by Dan Collier & George Bennett, I expect us to control the midfield battle.
If Deadfield is unable to play, then I think Jack McKnight would be an ideal replacement. Jack has had two impressive games and his confidence appears back from his pre-season injury.
The back four of Dean Stow, Jim Orvis and Dan Bayliss & Harry Philby in the centre roles are starting to look more solid each week and hopefully will be able to cope with anything The Farm throw at us.
History is on our side as the last time we played them in the FA Cup was back in 2010-2011 when after a 2-2 draw away, we beat them 1-0 at the Camrose.
Let’s hope for a strong performance this Saturday as we should head into this match as strong favourites to progress.
Match Preview by Martin French..