Evo-Stick South Premier Division South Tuesday 5th February 2019
Basingstoke Town 0 – 2 Salisbury (The Whites) Attendance 473
Although unwanted, this was possibly always likely to happen, as we could not repeat Saturday’s epic performance again tonight, against promotion chasing Salisbury.
With the return of Charlie Kennedy to the starting line-up, replacing the injured Shane Hollamby, the line-up for tonight’s match was; 1.Tom McGill, 2. James Orvis, 3. Rob Gerrard, 4.Dean Stow, 5. Charlie Kennedy (Capt), 6.Jake Wakely, 7.Sam Smart, 8.Kian Duncan, 9. Sam Argent, 10. Sam Deadfield, 11. Harry Pearse.
On the bench; 12. A. Harris, 14. Hunt 15. Granger, 16. Akers 17. Bayliss
On a very heavy pitch and with the drizzling rain coming down heavier, the game kicked off with Stoke attacking the Town End in the first half.
Very little action until the 6th minute when a back pass to the Salisbury keeper, is chased down by Sam Smart, the keeper can only hack the ball clear 35yds, to Harry Pearse who takes the ball 10yds closer to goal and then tries to go past the Whites defender, but is unable to get a clear shot, Harry then turns and slips the ball to Smart who hits a first-time shot that is going well wide of the goal until it hits a defender and deflects back across the goal and out for a corner. Nothing comes from the corner.
Then on 8 mins we suffer the first blow of the evening as defender Jack Wakely has gone down injured. After two minutes of treatment, it is clear his evening is over and will be replaced by the returning Dan Bayliss.
Very little clear action until on 19 mins as Salisbury break after a mis-tackle by Bayliss allows the forward to pas the ball inside to another waiting forward who hits a first-time shot from 8yds straight at McGill who parries the ball away and we are able to clear the ball.
Two further attacks by Salisbury nearly give them the lead, first an attack down our left which leads to a shot straight at the keeper who holds on well. Then another attack this time down our right leads to a vicious left-footed shot that is pushed by McGill onto the outside of the post and out for a corner. The resulting corner flicks off Kennedy’s head and out for a throw-in over the far side.
We are able to clear briefly, but Salisbury are now back on the attack and after a good passing movement which is initially well blocked by Stow & Orvis, the ball is returned to Salisbury’s Thomas Whelan puts them ahead, as he cuts inside and hits a low shot that passes the defender and the un-sighted McGill into the bottom corner of the near post.
Salisbury are straight back on it again but a well-timed tackle by Gerrard puts a halt to the attack.
On 28 mins Charlie Kennedy goes in the book for a deliberate handball, just over the halfway line.
On 30 mins the visitors nearly go two-up as a break down the right and after an initial block, we give away a free-kick. From the free-kick swung over to the far post a free-header is headed back across the goal, where a Stoke defender heads it off the line and we are able to clear.
Basingstoke then on 33 mins, create the equaliser, or what we thought was the equaliser, as a long kick out by McGill is inch-perfect over the defender to Gerrard down the left wing, who takes the ball down well and races five yards before sending over an out-swinging cross that takes slight deflections off the first defender, then another defender and falls straight to Sammie Argent, whose first time shot flies into the back of the net. However, the cheers are short-lived as the linesman has his flag up for offside. The crowd are not happy about the ref’s decision to disallow the goal.
It is clear that the changed formation is now allowing Gerrard a more attacking role as he makes two more surges down the left on 37 & 39 mins. The first is a neat one-two move with Pearse, as Gerrard sends another cross over but it fails to find a Stoke player and is headed clear. The second is another neat move which Gerrard cuts inside and is brought down. The Salisbury player goes in the book. The free-kick by Deadfield curls to the far post, where Bayliss out jumps the defence, but can only send it back up in the air, the ball is half-cleared to Smart whose shot flies over the bar.
On 43mins with Stoke on top for the last 10 mins, Smart finds the ball down the left, and he jinks one way then cuts inside the box, Smart then goes down, and there are calls for a penalty, but the defender makes a sliding tackle and did get the ball first and puts it out for a corner. Again Salisbury are able to clear.
The ref plays little injury-time and blows the halftime whistle.
The second-half restarts with Salisbury creating the first chance, but a poor finish sends the ball wide of the goal.
Then on 47 mins we attack down the left with Pearse, who after good work cuts down the byline and sends in a wicked near post shot that the keeper and can only push away and Salisbury are able to scramble the ball away.
Then on 51 mins Salisbury create another good chance, but a good save by McGill down low at the near post.
On 56 mins after good work from Smart down the left, he cuts inside beats his defender then hits a shot that takes a deflection past the keeper, but just past the far post for a corner.
The short-corner allows Deadfield to send in a cross, but again it’s headed clear.
The next 5 mins there are no attacks on either goal.
Then on 65 mins Salisbury break down our left the cross is well blocked at the near post and we are able to hook it clear for a corner.
Then on 66 mins Salisbury force another corner down our left. This time the cross flies to the far post where another free-header, puts the ball back in the goalmouth, a second header again goes up in the air, somehow we can’t get near it and another Salisbury again is first on it, takes it off his knee and hits the ball low and in to the far corner of the net. We now trail by two goals.
On 70 mins Kennedy hobbles off and is replaced by Akers.
The 3rd Salisbury player goes in the book for a very late tackle on our keeper Tom McGill as he tries to kick the ball clear.
On 73 mins Stoke create another chance down the left, but again the cross by Deadfield is half cleared to Akers on the edge of the box and his shot although well hit is straight at the keeper.
On 77 mins with Stoke back on the attack, Akers is sent down the right, he beats his defender and sends in another cross, but the ball is cleared as far as Orvis, who sends the ball back in but again the ball is headed clear.
On 81 mins an after more Stoke pressure, Smart feeds the ball to Pearse, whose shot is again pushed out for another corner. The corner is wasted.
On 84 mins the 4th or is 5th Salisbury player goes in the book for a late sliding tackle on Stow as he tries to clear the ball.
More good work from Akers down the right, but again his cross fails to find a Stoke player.
On 89 mins. We again attack down the right with Akers and he sends in across about 8yds out where Gerrard tries to turn on the ball and sends a shot harmlessly 4yds wide.
Now deep into stoppage time, the ball is sent over the top to Akers, who beats the defender to the ball and sends in a low shot that is well saved by the keeper.
It’s 94 mins on the clock and the referee and the home crowd have seen enough as he blow the full-time whistle.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 0 – 2 Salisbury
Final thought’s – Some fans including me didn’t want this game to go ahead, and think we struggled on a heavy pitch, where Saturday’s home game against Staines Town is more important.
No standout performances tonight and we have more injury concerns with Wakely and Kennedy.
Match Report by Martin French..