Evo-Stick South Premier Division – Saturday 3rd November 2018
Basingstoke Town 1 – 2 Weymouth (The Terras) Attendance 518
So, as we entered the month of November, Basingstoke took on League Leaders Weymouth at the Camrose under a dry but cloudy afternoon.
With both Callum Bunting and George Bennett confirmed out through injury, but with added reinforcements from Rob Gerrard & and Mitchell Parker, in the starting squad, Manager Jason Bristow had options in what players and which formation it would pit against Weymouth today.
The line-up he decided was; In goal: Colm McAdden, the back four Dean Stow, Shane Hollamby, Dan Bayliss & Robert Gerrard. The midfield contained Charlie Kennedy (Capt), Jack McKnight, Sam Deadfield & Sam Smart, with Sam Argent & Ben Wright again leading the attack today.
On the bench; Akers, Orvis, Collier, Philby & new boy Mitchell Parker
The game got underway with Basingstoke attacking the Town End in the first half, with a large contingent of Weymouth fans behind the Clubhouse end goal.
The first corner goes to Stoke on 4 mins, with Deadfield’s cross cleared back to him out by the touchline, Deadfield then does a neat but somewhat lucky 1 – 2 move with Wright and then crosses it, that misses the defender the keeper and finds a wide-open Sammie Argent, who simply was not expecting it to reach and he sticks a boot out and somehow from 2yds out it flies over the bar for a goal-kick.
Weymouth’s first attack comes on 7 mins, as they break quickly down the right, the Terras forward cuts inside, no-one can put a tackle in and then he feeds a wide-open Weymouth forward on the left, he takes two touches then hits it, but McAdden makes a quality save down to his right and puts the ball out for a corner. Nothing comes from the corner.
But Stoke are back on it after 9 mins as Deadfield slides rules the ball to Argent, but his shot is poor and the keeper is able to save it with his feet and the rebound finds McKnight who is unable to get a clear shot on goal before he is tackled.
Stoke are again on the front foot on 12 mins as Stow feeds Smart, whose cross is half-blocked and then cleared out for a throw-in. Nothing comes from it after Smart’s cross flies 10yds over the bar and out for a goal-kick.
Stow on 16 mins wins a throw-in 30yds out down the touchline. His long throw evades the first defender and his half-cleared, but Charlie Kennedy (my man-of-the-match today), wins the ball back and feeds Stow again whose this time is cleared again.
Basingstoke are by far the better team at the moment and on 22 mins create another chance as Stow and Kennedy in a slow passing movement allows Stow to hit a dream of a cross into the 6-yard box. Despite their seemingly being 3 Stoke players vying for the ball, not one of them gets a touch on it and the ball runs out for a goal-kick.
But less than 30 seconds later, Smart is fed the ball over the top down the left, he slips past the right-back and then slides a ball across the face of the goal and goal-hungry Sam Argent is first to the ball and hooks it into the net. GOAL Basingstoke Town 1 – 0 Weymouth.
This is nothing more than we deserve and Stoke are back on it 2 mins later as we again attack down our right with a Stow cross that is hacked clear by a Weymouth defender.
On 27 mins Weymouth break down our right the first cross is blocked and the rebound falls to him but his shot does not trouble anyone as it flies 10yds wide.
On 32 mins and another half-chance as we win a free-kick 40yds out. Wright’s send a superb ball deep into the penalty area, somehow the ball is cleared by the Terras Zubar, to McKnight who looks to shoot but then slides it to Stow, whose shot from 25yds, beats the keeper but hits the outside of the near post for a goal-kick.
It’s still Basingstoke on the attack and we should have gone two-up on 39 mins, as Wright feeds Smart, who goes past two defenders, but his shot flies just over the bar.
We are made to pay for not taking our chances, as Weymouth break on 44 mins, a neat move finds Goodship who hits the shot, that takes a wicked deflection over McAdden’s head into the goal. It’s now 1 – 1 and far from what we deserve as the referee blows the halftime whistle.
Half-time: Basingstoke Town 1 – 1 Weymouth
Stoke are unchanged as we kick-off the 2nd half attacking the Clubhouse End.
It’s Weymouth who have the first chance as on 48 mins, Weymouth with a neat move allow the Terras forward Baggie to hit one from 25yds. It has McAdden beaten but fortunately flies past the far post.
But Stoke create the next two chances as on 52 mins Smart slides past two defenders and his shot curls past he far post with the keeper beaten. Then on 54 mins after another good work from Kennedy and then McKnight, who feeds Smart down the right, he dummies the defender and sends a chip into the box for Wright, who can’t a clean head on the ball and it falls onto the roof of the net.
We again attack on 57 mins as yet another determined tackle by Deadfield wins the ball, and feeds the surging attack by McKnight whose shot is saved by the keeper down low at the near post.#
Weymouth then have two chances, the first a shot by Goodship is well saved by McAdden’s feet, then another when a free-header drops just over the bar.
Stoke are then back in control and we create another super chance as Kennedy wins two tackles and feeds Deadfield, who beats one player and slide the ball out wide to McKnight, His cross falls into the 6yd box, but no Stoke forward can get a head to it and Weymouth clear to Gerrard 30yds out he feigns to shoot and slips Smart now down the left, he turns and chips a cross into the box and it somehow beats everyone and goes out for a goal-kick.
Weymouth then get the ball in the net and their fans think they’ve scored, but the linesman had his flag up for offside straight away, and the Terras fans are shocked when they finally wake up to the idea it was disallowed.
Basingstoke then create another chance with Stow, Deadfield and then McKnight moving upfield in a nice pincer move, that allows Deadfield to hit one from 25 yds out, but the ball takes a deflection and flies out for a corner. The keeper is comfortably able to catch the cross.
Basingstoke make its first change with Wright being replaced by new signing Mitchell Parker on 69mins.
With Stoke still looking the most likely to take the lead, Weymouth break on 74 mins and a nice one-two pass inside our box allows midfielder Thomson to sweep the ball past McAdden and we fall behind 1 -2.
We then have the next two chances as Deadfield feeds Smart who shot is blocked for yet another corner. However, yet again Weymouth comfortably clear the ball. The 2nd chance is a nice move between Deadfield and Parker and Parker’s shot is well-blocked to Gerrard, whose cross flies along the face of the goal with no-one able to get the final touch.
Although not a dirty match the referee has his 5th or 6th player in the book after a heavy tackle by McKnight on a Terras player on the halfway line.
Weymouth are far from looking like the league leaders (despite their vocal fans might sing), as we then spend virtually the next ten minutes encamped in their half. In this period Stow has a cross blocked, which falls to Smart who hits the ball into the side netting.
Kennedy after yet the umpteenth quality tackle feeds Deadfield whose pass into he box is hacked out for a corner as McKnight looks to get a shot on goal.
Stow, is then fed by Deadfield again whose shot looks goal bound only to take a slight deflection and flies out for a corner.
We are still on the attack, but we can’t breach the Weymouth defence as we move into 4 minutes of added time.
A chance by Parker flies over and a Deadfield shot is blocked as we fall to an undeserved defeat as the ref blows the final whistle.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 1 – 2 Weymouth
Final Thought’s – An absolute solid performance that on most days would take 3pts comfortably.
McKnight’s goal-scoring run is halted, but with a touch more luck cold have 2 or 3 today.
Another good performance by Sammie Argent who bags another goal but had real chances for at least two more.
Gerrard’s 2nd appearance still proves what a quality signing the club have made here, as I never saw him put a foot wrong today, Strong in the tackle and a decent passer of the ball.
I rarely single out a player for man-of-the-match, but after taking an hour to think it fully through, I nearly change my mind and plump for Deadfield who had a damn fine game, but Kennedy made 15 tackles of superb standard (apart from the hack on the Weymouth forward on 90 mins). His passing was of a high standard and his link-up play from left-to-right was almost effortless at times. Therefore, Kennedy wins one of my rare man-of-the-match awards.
Smart, had an increasing improved performance today and in the 2nd-half was unlucky not to have scored.
My one concern is the lack of height from crosses into the opposition’s box. We miss Bunting’s size and height again today.
We lost today, but if our players can take that performance into next week’s FA Trophy match against Enfield we will be in the hat for the next round.
Match Report by Martin French..