Match Report: Bristol Manor Farm 5 – 2 Basingstoke Town

FA Cup 2nd Round Qualifying Match- 3pm Saturday 22nd September 2018

Bristol Manor Farm 5 – 2 Basingstoke Town   Attendance  217

In a small part of the outskirts of Bristol, where on a heavy rainy day, Basingstoke’s participation in the FA Cup came to a dramatic shuddering end.

Manager, Jason Bristow today went with a line-up of in goal McAdden, with Akers again playing at right back, Hollamby & Philby as the centre backs and Bayliss at left back. In midfield was Bennett, Kennedy (Capt) and McKnight. Up top was Smart, Bunting and a surprising start for Ben Wright over Sam Argent, who started on the bench.

On the bench; Orvis, Cameron Kennedy, Hunt, Long & Argent.

As the game on a sloping pitch gets underway, the rain seems to pick up to an even heavier pace, we seem to be on the back foot from the start and after what seemed just 2 minutes, Manor Farm which I will call them today, win a corner out down our right. The corner which seems to be a miss-hit to the near post, is clipped by a Farm player and somehow finds the back of our net. Bristol Manor Farm 1 – 0 Basingstoke Town.

6 mins in and we win our first corner. the ball is half cleared, it is put back in the middle and Wright I believe gets a head to it beats the keeper, but flies inches over the bar. Stoke winner another corner a couple of minutes later, but that one is easily cleared.
Then on 10 mins we win another corner, Wright’s corner isn’t fully cleared and finds McKnight on the edge of the penalty, he takes one touch and then unleashes a screamer of a shot that finds the bottom right hand corner of the net. GOAL Bristol Manor Farm 1 – 1 Basingstoke Town 

Stoke continue to press for the next few minutes, without creating any chance, until an over-hit pass to Smart, stops in the heavy grass and the left back fails to clear it properly. It finds Wright who controls the ball a couple of yards  from the touchline 25yds out. He cuts inside, beats two defender and then hits it. The ball takes a strong deflection and goes out for another corner. Nothing comes from the corner.
Manor Farm are from out of this and they create a chance that beats McAdden, but Bayliss is on the line to clear the ball away.
22 mins and 25 min we have further attacks, but fail to produce a clear shot on target.

Then disaster strikes again as they come deep into our half at ease, they pass the ball around our box and then slip the ball inside to a Manor Farm forward who has time to stop the ball and then hits one from about 25yds out on the wet surface that beats McAdden and finds the far corner of the net. Bristol Manor Farm 2 – 1 Basingstoke Town.

Literally from the kick-off we go straight back down the other end, the ball is pumped into their penalty area, where it is bouncing around the penalty area, when Wright somehow smashes it against the bar from 6yds out and McKnight’s follow-up is deflected away.

Minutes 30 -35 there is very little goal-mouth action by either team, until Smart flies down the right wing, sends the ball over, which is half cleared to Wright who is on the edge of the box, he has time to take a touch, but hits a first-time shot that flies way over the bar and out the ground.
Then on 40 minutes, we attack again, the ball is passed around the edge of the box, the ball is slipped back to McKnight who smashes it again into the same corner of the net. GOAL Bristol Manor Farm 2 – 2 Basingstoke Town. 

This seems to upset one of the Club officials who asks me to move away from the Player and Officials entrance, whilst I was talking to Reg & Brian. Clearly he doesn’t like us equalising against them. Neither does one of their fans as I get shoved by one of their fans a minute later, the official who then just asked me to move threatens to throw me out, but says nothing to their fan. Hey-Ho, oh what fun to be a Stoke fan away again.

Anyway, back on the pitch the ref has blown his whistle for half-time, and their is a confrontation between Jason Bristow and their Manager has they walk off the pitch and then 30 seconds later in the Players tunnel entrance.
Half-time score: Bristol Manor Farm 2 – 2 Basingstoke Town.

We seem to pick up pace at the start of the 2nd half and win an early corner, but that is well defended.
Then on 50 mins, and possibly the defining point of the game, Smart after a lovely move slips the ball to an open net for Wright 6yds out. Somehow his shot flies 5yds over the bar and the game remains level. Wright looks down to blame the pitch, but that miss had nothing to do with the pitch.

The next few minutes we attack down the left, using Bayliss as the outlet, who crosses twice, but neither find a Stoke head.

We are now heading into the final 30 mins of the game, with the rain still pouring down, the match reporter frozen we have another chance as on 62 mins a Stoke player beats the keeper but the ball is cleared off the line by a Manor Farm defender.
We can’t seem to put this game away, and we look like we may pay for missing these chances.
The game is now in a little lull as neither team can produce anything of note. We have made two substitutions bringing on Sam Argent and Jim Orvis. Sorry can’t remember who went off.

Then on 76 mins they break down our left the ball is put over, not sure whether one of our defenders or one of their forwards get the final touch, but the ball bounces past McAdden and finds the far corner of the goal, and we are 3 -2 down.

We then come back on the attack for the next few minutes, but unable to create a real shot on target. The Manor Farm defence seem to be able to get away with every bounce in their area, as it is just not happening for us now.
The minutes are slipping away, and after yet another Stoke corner the Manor Farm keeper punches the ball clear and they break into our half, the Manor Farm forward has time to cut inside and out and beats Bayliss, then puts a shot which is half-cleared to a Manor Farm forward who hits into the bottom left-hand corner of Colm’s goal. Bristol Manor Farm 4 – 2 Basingstoke Town.

The game is now over and on 85 mins Bristol Manor Farm attack again, they seem to be able to take an age with no-one bothering to put a tackle in. They then finally decide to shoot and somehow it slips past McAdden and into the net. Bristol Manor Farm 5 – 2 Basingstoke Town.

Sorry but on 88 mins I have had enough of getting soaked by the rain and watching us fall to a dismal defeat and I walk off to the Clubhouse.
I am informed that I miss nothing of note for the final few minutes.

Final Score: Bristol Manor Farm 5 – 2 Basingstoke Town.

My final comments;
Not sure where Dan Collier was today, as he was not even in the match-day squad?
Didn’t agree (and I’m sure I am not the only one), with starting Ben Wright in preference to Sam Argent.
We didn’t get to grips with the wet conditions today and there was a lack of determination by some players in the last 20 mins.
Players who stood out, were again Jack McKnight who had a solid game and seemed to be the only who knew where the goal was.
Thought Bayliss as an attacking left back did well, but the back four letting five goals in doesn’t look good. But when chasing the game you can concede more goals.

The hype of the FA Cup is over early for yet another season for Basingstoke and we are back to league action next Saturday and oh yes, another trip to the West Country, this time to Tiverton.
Great support by a large contingent of Stoke fans today.

Match Report by Martin French

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