Dunstable Town 0 – 6 Basingstoke Town – Attendance 111
On a morning where we were waiting for confirmation that the game would be on. Ten hardy souls in hope of a much-needed away win, or any sort of win really, took to the trains to get to Dunstable. Despite the weather reports of it being dry and cold that day, when we got in the taxis from Luton to Dunstable, it started snowing, then sleeting, only for it to stop when we arrived at the pub by the ground.
Anyway, we arrived at the ground to find Terry’s starting line-up today was in goal, McAdden, at the back, Wohlfiel, Demuria, Hollamby & Bayliss, in midfield Atkinson, McKnight, Bennett and the return of Sam Deadfield. Up front Smart & Argent.
On the bench was; Kennedy, Bunting & Goater.
Basingstoke attack in the opening minute and a soft Smart shot was easily saved by the keeper. Basingstoke again showed promise of what was to come as, Wohlfiel broke down the right but his decent cross was hacked away by a Dunstable defender in the 4th minute.
But 7 minutes in after good work by Bennett down the left, he slips the ball inside to Argent who as he entered the penalty box, gets clipped by a defender and the ref had no doubt and points to the spot. As usual I don’t watch the kick, but Argent (seen the video), stepped up and slotted it low and to the right of the keeper and in the corner of the net. Dunstable Town 0 – 1 Basingstoke Town.
Basingstoke were back on the attack straight away and further attacks down both wings were hoofed away by the defence.
On 16 mins, with Dunstable unable to hold onto the ball anytime they crossed midfield, we again attacked down the right. A decent cross by McKnight, but Bennett was unable to get his head to it and the ball was hacked away back to Smart, who neatly slotted Argent inside but after beating two defenders, his shot was weak and straight at the keeper.
Deadfield starting to run the ball in midfield on 21 mins slipped the ball to Smart, whose superb diagonal pass to Argent broke clear of the defence. The one on one with the keeper was settled swiftly as Argent confidently stroked it past him and into the net. Basingstoke 2 up and looking for more.
Dunstable were showing no sign of getting back in the game and after further attacks by Basingstoke, on 28 mins in, a free-kick 15yds inside the home teams half was met by a Demuria header straight at the keeper.
30 mins in and Dunstable mounted their first serious attack as they won back-to-back corners, but both were well defended by our defence, and Stoke break away down the left with Bennett who seemed far more up for it today, slotted the ball to Deadfield whose pass back to Bennett allows him to float the cross in, but Dunstable clear only to Smart, but his volley flashes way wide.
33 mins in and McKnight receives the ball again from Deadfield just over halfway line and Jack drives forward 10yds and then hammers a shot from at least 30yds, it beats the keeper, smashes against the underside of the bar, onto the keeper and somehow out for a corner. Dunstable break from the corner deep into our half, but Bayliss looking supremely strong not only wins the tackle but also the throw-in.
The rain has started, but that is not stopping us today as we break again down the left as Bennett and Argent combine to make an attack for Smart, but he’s blocked off and Dunstable under increasing pressure, are able to clear.
In the lst minute of the second half Dunstable break and the long-range shot is well hit, but straight at McAdden who palms it down comfortably.
Half-time: Dunstable Town 0 – 2 Basingstoke Town
After much needed refreshment, the game is restarted and it’s clear the home team’s manager as had words with his players as, the first 3 minutes, Dunstable attack down our right, but Wohlfiel’s is able to block the cross out for the corner. The cross is swung in hard with pace, not sure who wins the header, but it is cleared away and we break, only for us to lose it on halfway and the home team attack again down the left and win another corner. This corner is not as accurate, but we are only able to half clear the ball and we give away another corner. This one is well defended, and we pass the ball out the back and go on the attack with McKnight and Atkinson combining to slot the abll to Argent, whose shot flies over the bar.
Then on 52 minutes, the games is put to bed after another attack by Stoke down the left finds Bennett 8yds out, and his side-footed is only half stopped by the keeper and it finds the far corner of the net. Stoke up 3 nil and cruising.
The fight has gone out of the home team and it’s all Stoke now as we seem to be encamped in Dunstable’s half. Stoke make two changes on the hour, as Atkinson & Deadfield are replaced by Bunting & Kennedy.
63 mins in and we attack down our right, Wohlfiel’s lovely low cross is met by Argent whose first-time shot is hammered into the net, with the keeper stuck to the ground.
Stoke have their 4th and Sam Argent completes his hat-trick.
Basingstoke make their 3rd change as Goater comes on for Bayliss/Hollamby?
The Btg are in full-voice as the rain pours down, with Stoke looking for more goals, and this is one-way traffic, but somehow breaks by Argent and Smart are thwarted by Dunstable. 75 mins in and Cider Steve thinks he’s a Geordie, as he whips his top off, to much jeering from the Btg.
8o mins in and Bunting is fed the ball down the right, who breaks inside and unleashes a fierce shot and the keeper is only able to punch it away.
On 82 mins, Dunstable break but their shot, come cross goes 15yds wide.
83 mins in and McKnight is fed the ball 20yds out and his low drive, just beats the far post.
85 mins in and it’s five, as Argent is slipped the ball through to him and again the one-on-one is no problem for Sam, as he slots the ball past the keeper. Sam Argent now has four out of Stoke’s five goals.
Then on 90 mins and another replica of his previous goals as he is fed through again, he takes his time, dummies the keeper and slots it home. Argent now has five and the “We’ve got Sammy Argent, you’ve got no-one special” chant is sung with even more gusto.
The ref mercilessly blows the final whistle for Dunstable.
Full-time: Dunstable Town 0 – 6 Basingstoke Town.
Points of note; Great to see Deadfield back today and last 60 mins, who looked comfortable against a poor Dunstable team. Bennett, Atkinson and McKnight were all solid in midfield. The back four never looked under much pressure today and deserved the clean sheet. As for Argent, what can we say, his coolness in front of goal is utter class.
The Btg are off to have a few drinks on the way home.
Up next is a tough trip to Merthyr on Tuesday night.
Match-Report by Martin French.