FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round – Saturday 24th November 2018
Basingstoke Town 1 – 1 Torquay United (The Gulls) Attendance 472
Penalties 3 – 5 to Torquay United.
Well we fought and fought but possibly didn’t get what we really deserved today
Well following Tuesday’s experimental line-up at Harrow Borough, on Tuesday night, Terry Brown reverted to a fairly standard line-up of; In Goal Colm McAdden, the back four Dean Stow, Shane Hollamby, Dan Bayliss & Robert Gerrard. The midfield contained Charlie Kennedy (Capt), Jack McKnight, Dan Collier & Sam Deadfield, with Sam Argent & Sam Smart up top today.
On the bench was; Akers, Orvis, Wright, Philby & Mitchell Parker.
With the rain we attacked the Town End in the first half and the first attack of note, was on 4 mins, when McKnight picked up a through ball down the right flank, however his cross, clipped a Gulls defender and the ball slides away from the two Stoke forwards in the 6yd box.
On 8 mins a shot from Torquay slides just past Colm McAdden’s goal.
From the goal-kick, we bring the ball upfield and after some decent passing moves, we feed Smart who gets brought down in the penalty box and the referee points to the spot. Mr reliable, Dean Stow steps up and puts the penalty away, GOAL Basingstoke Town 1 – 0 Torquay United.
However, before the time it takes the referee to blow his whistle to restart the game and put his notebook back in his pocket, it seems Torquay have gone down the field and planted the ball in the back of our net and equalised Basingstoke Town 1 – 1 Torquay United.
On 17 mins, Torquay win a free-kick just outside our box and Hollamby is shown a yellow card. However, nothing comes from the free-kick.
On 24 mins McAdden is back in the action, but the turn and shot from a Gulls forward just outside is comfortably saved by McAdden.
We neither team controlling the midfield battle, there is very chances being created by either team at the moment.
On 27 mins, Collier makes back to back winning tackles in midfield and the 2nd one is passed to Deadfield who feeds Smart, but the ball is a touch too hard and the keeper is able to retrieve the ball.
Two mins later we again win the ball in midfield, this time its Argent, who holds of his defender and then slides the ball past the last defender for Smart to chase it down, but on the wet surface, it is the keeper who wins the chase to the ball.
On 32 mins we have our next attack as again Smart is fed down the right flank, he looks to go inside the pushes it outside and gets his cross away but past the left back, but the Gulls centre back, cuts out the cross and Torquay are able to clear, they break down our end, but again the shot from 30yds isn’t hit well and another comfortable save for McAdden.
On 36 mins and our next chance again falls to Smart who again jinks past two Torquay defenders just inside the box but he takes it one touch too far before hitting it from a tight angle. It has the keeper beaten but it slides just past the far post for a goal-kick.
On 38 mins after good work down the left, we win a throw-in, Argent is able to turn and cross, it somehow beats everyone in the 6yd box and find McKnight at the far post, but he has to take a touch to control the ball before striking it towards the goal, but this allows a Torquay defender to block the shot.
On 40 mins we are back on it again and Argent wins a free-kick 3yds outside the Torquay penalty area. The crowd behind the goal help count out the 10 paces the referee is taking. However, the ref decides to stop at 7 and the wall retreats back maybe just 7yds from ball. Stow takes the kick and curls a lovely shot over the wall, but the Gulls keeper makes a lovely dive in the air and pushes it over the bar for a corner.
On 44 mins after a stoppage for a Hollamby injury I believe, we lose the ball in midfield and Torquay complete a nice triangle passing movement, but the resulting shot from 25 yds goes harmlessly wide of McAdden’s goal. This is enough for the referee and he blows for half-time.
The second half gets underway, and the Gulls manager may have had a strong words for his team, at halftime, as there was very little difference between either team in the first half.
This seems to work as Torquay have two decent attacks on 50 and 51 mins. The first is shot that’s blocked by Collier and we clear, the second is another shot that is well saved by McAdden.
Torquay continue to press and on 60 mins build down our left, the cross beats everyone until Bayliss kicks it clear at the far post.
On 62 mins another good interception by Collier and Deadfield feeds Smart down the left, he cuts inside and his cross just beats the outstretched foot of Argent and goes out for a goal-kick.
For the next 5 to 7 mins we now starting to look a little tired as we seem unable to clear the ball for very long, before Torquay advance on our goal.
Then on 70 mins after a corner is hit back to Torquay’s No.18 he curls one into the goalmouth, McAdden gets the faintest of touches before it hits the bar and flies away.
On 73 mins and another chance for Torquay as the ball is crossed to the far post, McAdden decides to stay on his line and the forward beats our two defenders and gets a decent head on the ball and McAdden is down to push it away at the near post.
It is noted that McAdden picks up a groin injury from taking a goal-kick and it finally is enough for him to go down and receive treatment on 78 mis. To be honest the break probably allows us to take a breath and regroup.
Torquay’s No.12 then misses his second good chance of the match, as on 83 mins he is fed clear and with just the oncoming McAdden, he decides to blast it and it flies 4yds over the bar.
Terry Brown finally decides to make his 1st substitution of the day, as Smart is replaced by Parker.
Deadfield then has half a chance as his shot from 25yds takes a slight deflection, but is straight at the keeper.
We are now hanging on and back to back attacks by Torquay could have produced a winner, the second brings out a fine save by McAdden again.
We are clearly the more happier when the ref blows the full-time whistle and we move to extra-time.
We attack the Town End for the first half of extra time, but the heavy conditions seem to have taken a lot out of both teams as neither team are able to create a chance, but Stoke are clearly struggling to clear the ball for long before Torquay are back on it.
We then have a chance as Deadfield feeds Parker, but his shot is well-saved.
We have a further chance on 102 mins as a McKnight corner is met by a Hollamby head, but the keeper makes the save.
We make our second substitution with Ben Wright replacing Sam Argent.
The referee blows for the break and after a quick turnaround the second half of extra-time gets underway.
On 107 mins we make our final change as Akers replaces Collier.
Although Torquay are the more attacking team, we are using Akers pace as he breaks clear down the right, however is cross is pulled behind our advancing forwards and they comfortably clear.
We then have a real chance to win it as Akers again outpaces the Gulls defence he crosses for Wright at the near post, who fails to make a proper touch on it and it’s a goal-kick for Torquay.
Torquay then have one more chance, but a fine blocked tackle from Kennedy who races clear, he then passes to Akers who races away down the left, he cuts inside from about 25 yds, but his shot flies way, way over the bar.
The referee has played two minutes of added time, but blows the whistle and it’s going to be decided on penalties.
Sorry, everyone who reads by reports knows I don’t watch penalties.
However, the penalty sequence went as follows;
Torquay Utd 1 – 0 Basingstoke
Torquay Utd 1 – 1 Basingstoke Ben Wright
Torquay Utd 2 – 1 Basingstoke
Torquay Utd 2 – 2 Basingstoke Jack McKnight
Torquay Utd 3 – 2 Basingstoke
Torquay Utd 3 – 3 Basingstoke Dean Stow
Torquay Utd 4 – 3 Basingstoke
Torquay Utd 4 – 3 Basingstoke Parker blasts over the bar
Torquay Utd 5 – 3 Basingstoke
Torquay United are though as we lose 5-3 on penalties and our valiant effort falls short and the Basingstoke crowd shuffle home disappointed.
Final Thought’s – A superb effort by Terry’s boys today with quality performances from Dan Collier and Colm McAdden.
Match Report by Martin French..