Hampshire Senior Cup 3rd Round – Tuesday 4th December 2018
Hartley Wintney 1 v 3 Basingstoke Town Attendance 176 ?
Apologies for the delay in this match report, but I thought I would get my £10 worth of sleep before completing the match report, on last night’s comfortable victory in the Hampshire Cup.
For those large number of Basingstoke Town fans who decided not to accept paying the over-priced admission for a Hampshire Cup game, you missed Martin Kuhl’s first victory in his reign as Stoke Manager.
With Callum Bunting still returning to match fitness & both Dan Collier and Jack McKnight missing from the squad on the night, but boosted by the return of Sam Smart from his latest free trial, Martin Kuhl went with his first starting line-up of: In Goal Colm McAdden, the back four of Dean Stow, Shane Hollamby, Dan Bayliss & Robert Gerrard. The midfield contained Charlie Kennedy (Capt), Sam Smart, Sam Deadfield & Zidane Akers, with Sam Argent & Ben Wright again leading the attack tonight.
On the bench; Philby, Orvis, Hunt & C Kennedy.
Basingstoke attacked the closed end in the first half as the rain fell on a drizzly but warm night in North Hampshire.
Very little action of note in the first five minutes by either team, but Stoke clearly doing the more pressing and we attack on 9 mins as Argent feeds Smart down the left who takes on the 1st defender, but fails to control the ball as a second Hartley player clears the ball away.
Then on 12 mins and the first controversial decision by our well-know referee James Robinson, as we clear downfield and there is an aerial battle just inside the box between Argent and the Hartley keeper who takes out Sammie, as the ball rolls away. The ref appears to give no decision of any kind as Stoke players were calling for a red card.
Hartley have their first attempt of note on 16 mins as a decent move down the left produces a cross by Duff, but Bayliss is first to the ball and head clears.
Stoke continue to attack, but passing on this wet and bumpy pitch is proving difficult and we struggle to make that final telling pass.
Then on 21 mins we make the breakthrough as Smart down the right crosses, it fails to find a Stoke player, but it isn’t cleared and there is a scramble in the box, until Wright turns and hits it low to the keeper’s left. The keeper gets a slight touch on the ball but fails to stop the ball from rolling into the back of the net. GOAL Hartley Wintney 0-1 Basingstoke Town
On 24 mins and Hartley have their first real chance as poor defending by Stoke, as we fail to shut out to simple passes down our left, and then allow them to cross into the penalty box, where Cook gets to the ball first, but his shot is well blocked four yards out by Bayliss and McAdden recovers the rebound and we quickly break and Argent finds Smart, who cuts inside past the defender, but fails to beat the keeper with his low-shot.
This seems to kick-start Stoke again as we start to dominate possession and we spend the next five minutes in the home sides half. Smart with acres of space down the right fails to put in that final deadly pass and Hartley can only hack the ball clear, but Stoke are wanting that second goal.
On 31 minutes we again attack and Smart’s cross to the far post fails to find that final touch.
Stoke are now using Smart exclusively down the right and an excellent pass to him finds him past his defender, but he takes it one touch too far away from goal and his shot from an acute angle is pushed away for a corner.
On 33 mins and from a throw-in deep in the home team’s half, the ball is fed to Wright just inside the box, he turns on his left, but he can’t make that perfect connection on his shot and the ball curls two yards high and wide of the far post.
Then on 34 minutes we do deservedly double our lead, as we move it from left to right across the park to Smart, whose low cross finds Argent on his own in front of the keeper. Argent’s first shot is half-stopped, but the ball rebounds to Sammie and this time he makes no mistake as he slots it past the keeper. GOAL Hartley Wintney 0-2 Basingstoke Town
You can see the home team’s heads go down and we are back on the attack a couple of minutes later and Smart again tears the left back apart but fails to get his shot away, before another defender cuts out the ball for a corner.
On 40 mins we again attack, as the ball is out over the top down the right and Argent outpaces the defender, he then whips in a cross to the far post where Akers is up and just can’t keep his header down and it flies over the bar.
On 42 mins and it’s Deadfield’s chance to have a shot, but the ball rolls a few inches too far away from him and he fails to get his boot around the ball and his shot flies a yard past the far post.
The referee adds no time for the Argent injury and he blows for half-time.
No changes by Stoke as the game gets underway for the second half, as the rain starts to fall again as we attack the tin shed end.
Stoke are back on the attack on 49 mins, but Smart now down the left, fails to get his cross in and two Hartley defenders are able to shepherd him away from goal, before his pass fails to find Deadfield.
On 51 mins and our next chance as Gerard moves down the left, his cross finds Argent who touches it to Wright who first shot is blocked then his second is deflected into the keepers arms.
On 52 mins we break again and a good crossfield pass finds Akers down the right, but his first touch is not good enough and he loses the ball to a Hartley defender.
On 54 mins a Hartley cross into our penalty area is met superbly by a Bayliss header who clears to Deadfield.
On 56 mins we break down the right with Smart and Argent, but the Argent cross is put out for a corner. The cross is met by Hollamby whose header at the far post is headed a yard wide of the post.
On 58 mins and after good work by Deadfield , he finds Wright, whose first touch finds Smart in motion down the left and he attacks to the edge of the box, then cuts inside and hits a curling shot that flies past the keeper, but also just past the far post.
On 62 mins after more good work, the ball falls to Deadfield who fires one that the keeper tips over the bar. Nothing comes from the corner.
The next couple of minutes sees Hartley start to close us down, and we fail to clear the ball from our half effectively. This seems to spur the home team on who have a shot wide of the post on 64 mins.
Then on 66 mins after a decent move 40 yards out with no challenge, a good 1 -2 move on the edge of the box finds the forward Hart clear and he slots the ball past McAdden into the net. Stoke now lead 1-2.
Those worrying thoughts are now creeping back into one or two Stoke fans after last year’s 2 goal come back, but this time all concerns are put to bed quickly as on 69 mins a Smart attack down the left, he cuts back inside and his cross falls to Argent, he takes two quick touches and then feeds Wright who slams it home into the far corner of the net. GOAL Hartley Wintney 1-3 Basingstoke Town
On 71 mins, we make our first change as Hollamby is replaced by Philby.
On 74 mins and after mucking about with the ball again at the back, we give away a free kick. The in-swinging cross finds a Hartley forward who can’t keep the ball down and it flies 3yds over the top of the bar.
The next few minutes there is no goal-mouth action by either team, as we seem happy to hold them at 1-3.
Then on 81 mins they break down the left they cut inside and a free shot by the forward fortunately is not hit well and McAdden is able to stick a leg out and put it out for a corner. The corner is well cleared by a Philby header.
Then on 83 mins, we give away a free-kick just outside the box. This is in a dangerous area, but the kick is poor and hits the wall and is cleared away.
On 86 mins Smart breaks down the left again, but his cross fails to find a Stoke player.
On 87 mins and another save by McAdden after a scramble around our box leads to a half-hit shot that hits Colm in the body and has time to recover the ball.
On 89 mins and we feed Akers down the right who takes two touches cuts inside the box and then hits it, but a good diving save by the Hartley keeper pouts it out for a corner. Nothing comes from the short corner.
The ref indicates 3 mins of additional time and we are able to play out this time without any worries and the ref blows the final whistle and Stoke are through into the next round.
Final Score: Hartley Wintney 1 v 3 Basingstoke Town
Final Thought’s – Tonight we saw the return of Smart and he clearly makes a huge difference to our attack.
Two goals by Wright and two decent touches as well, but not much apart from that.
Akers again fails to impress, his touch on this wet surface was not good and he doesn’t cover his player when we lose the ball.
Also, on a wet bumpy surface we tried to play it out too much from the back and we lost it in in dangerous positions, which tonight fortunately, the home team failed to take advantage of. More on this on my around the league in 48 hrs post tomorrow night.
A good improved performance, that we failed to put away in the first half, and we get some revenge for last week and I hope we can take this win into Saturday’s league game against Hendon.
Match Report by Martin French..