Evo Stick South Premier Division South 27th April 2019
Basingstoke Town 1– 2 Taunton Town Attendance 1,011
Where: The Camrose Stadium, Western Way, Basingstoke. RG22 6EZ
So for those who aren’t aware, this was the last game at the Camrose and our last game in the Premier Division as we were relegated yesterday and we were simply not good enough on the day, the season and we end up playing in villages next season.
Signs were not looking good as firstly, it was confirmed that striker Sam Argent, who got kicked by a Havant & Waterlooville player on Wednesday evening, would miss the game, secondly unconfirmed reports that fellow striker Yvan Jourdan failed to turn up at the ground, leaving us with us just Ben Wright as the only out and out forward on the day.
This left Martin Kuhl with a starting line-up of 1. Tom McGill, 2. Dean Stow 3. Adam Everiss, 4. Charlie Kennedy (Capt) 5. Jack Wakely 6. Dan Bayliss, 7. Sam Smart, 8. Michael Atkinson, 9. Ben Wright, 10. Sam Deadfield, 11. Harry Pearse
On the bench; 12. Orvis 14. Rusher 15 A. Harris 16. Hollamby 13. Rackley
With the crowd buzzing and an unbelievably strong wing towards the Town End, it is Taunton with the wind in the first half, but’s is Stoke who have the first attack on 4 mins as we win a corner down the right, the corner is knocked on to Kennedy who pulls out a save from the keeper who needs to recover the ball after his initial save.
On 6 mins, the wind proves how awkward it will be to play against it as Taunton break down the right, send in a swirling cross that turns our defenders around 360 degrees and the ball bounces off Wakely to a Taunton forward, who drags it a foot wide of the near post.
On 11 mins and Taunton break again the ball somehow rebounds off a visiting forward to his teammate who hits it and McGill with the slightest of touches puts it on the post, the ball rebounds back into play where another Taunton player hits it over the bar from 5yds.
On 14 mins, and yet another reason why we are where we are is that we break with Smart down the right, is first cross is blocked but his second cross finds Wright who lays it back to Deadfield, but puts it wide of the far post with just the keeper to beat!!
On 16 & 17 mins, Bayliss wins the first of three huge headers back to back, but the ball is again swirling around our penalty area, we fail to clear it and the referee has pointed to the spot as a Taunton player goes down on the floor. Up steps forward Andrew Neal who puts it away and we are 0-1 down. Andrew Neal then taunts our fans behind the goal.
This is alright as at this stage the Met Police are beating Gosport by the same scoreline.
We are still under more pressure and more ominous signs on 26 mins and Kennedy has taken a knock and receives lengthy treatment. He is able to continue but it does not look good.
On 28 mins Taunton win another corner down our left. The corner is beautifully met and caught by McGill, but under our current Managers play we try to play it out from the back, but lose it just 25yds out and another cross fortunately beats everyone and flies out for a goal-kick. More pissing about from the goal-kick is then recovered by a strong tackle from Atkinson and we push the ball down the left, but the wind again wins out and we lose the ball.
On 31 mins the injury is too much for Charlie Kennedy to continue and he is replaced by Jim Orvis.
On 36 mins after more Taunton pressure we again break and again fail to convert our chances. It’s Smart who sets it up and the ball bounces back to him and he takes a shot, it is pushed out to Wright, whose shot is then blocked yard from the line, this falls to another Stoke player who somehow can’t put it away as another defender has got in the way and blocked it away from the goalmouth.
Minutes 39 to 42 are more desperate defending against the wind as much as Taunton, and Wakely wins two big tackles. Bayliss is the book in another challenge.
Then on 43 mins and one player we are definitely going to miss is keeper Tom McGill who pulls out a full-length diving safe, after a cross finds Neal open at the far post as his header is pushed on to the post and out for a corner. Ben Wright wins the header and then follows up that good work as he chases the Taunton player down the wing and puts the ball out for a corner. The corner is picked up by the wind and flies way over the bar.
Then we have one final chance as good work from Pearse and Deadfield set-up a Dean Stow shot that is saved by the diving keeper.
The ref blows the halftime whistle and with other results around our league, mean we have 45 mins to turn it around, or get hope elsewhere.
With us attacking the Town End we get the game back underway and we hope to get back in the game.
The first action of note is that on 51 mins, it appears Everiss has also picked up an injury and he has to be replaced by winger Reece Rusher.
Literally a minute later we fall behind further behind, as we lose the ball on the halfway-line and the visitors break, the ball is slid out to he left and with the ball bouncing Ryan Brett hits it into the ground and the ball bounces wide of McGill into the net. We are now down by two goals and it’s looking desperate. With Hendon will winning at home and Walton Casuals comfortably winning at Merthyr, news again comes in that Met Police, have gone back in front 2-1 against Gosport.
We seen to be unable to create anything of note, as the ball seems to have a mind of it’s own, and further dire news comes in as Gosport have again equalised.
If Bayliss & Wakely stood out defensively in the first half, it is the sweeping defender Michael Atkinson who wins three tackles at the back in two minutes. The third one he releases the ball to Smart, who races down the right and is bundled over and the ref puts the Taunton defender in the book. The cross is initially headed clear and we win another free-kick 30yds out, The Stow kick is again blocked clear.
We are now less than 30 mins away from relegation, and Stoke miss yet another chance following a cross finds Bayliss who just can’t get power from his header and the keeper is able to make the save.
We still seem to really take full advantage of the wind Taunton seem to want to waste time now. The keeper a rather annoying gentleman, thinks about minute is long enough to take a goal-kick and another Taunton throws himself to the ground and demands treatment. The home crowd are far from happy.
Then a glimmer of hope returns to the Camrose on 68 mins, as we break down the right through Smart who sends a low cross in and Wright beats the defender to it and his flick sends it past the keeper into the far corner of the goal. GOAL! Basingstoke Town 1 – 2 Taunton Town.
For the next few minutes the so-called promotion chasers are pinned back in their own half, but despite all this, a Deadfield shot into the side-netting is all we can produce.
We still need another goal or help from elsewhere and we demand it on 79 mins Deadfield I believe goes down, but unsurprisingly we get another from this referee.
On 82 mins Atkinson again from good defensive work sets Smart away but his cross is blocked clear.
Time is slipping away and it isn’t helped by more blatant time-wasting.
We win another free-kick on 87 mins and Pearse and Stow set-up to take it. It’s Stow whose kick although well-hit, flies wide of the post.
Time is running away as we now head into injury-time with other results coming in, Hendon are safe and Walton as well, as we win another free-kick around 25yds out. This time Ben Wright steps up, but his shot flies over the bar.
Gosport have held on and we need to score in the last minute of 5 minutes of added time.
As you guess we simply don’t and the referee blows his final whistle. This is not helped by the smart-arse keeper taking the piss.
There is commotion behind the goal as it is believed, we are saved, but one of the football web scores pages has the league table wrong and we are condemned to step 4 football.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 1 – 2 Taunton Town
Final Thought’s: Atkinson played his best game of the season, along with Bayliss and Wakely who fought valiantly at the back against the weather conditions.
Step 4 football means village teams, most with no train station nearby. It also means that our home fixtures don’t need to be played at higher ground grading grounds such as Farnborough.
Still 24 hours later, I can’t believe like other’s that we have been relegated. So many chances to pull clear, so many late, late goals have killed us.
Bye for now, see you somewhere in August, or possibly earlier if we have to play FA preliminary games!!!!
Match Report by Martin French..