On a blistering hot bank holiday Monday afternoon, where next week’s FA Cup local rivals Hartley Wintney, got thumped 3 – 0 at Marlow, Terry Brown’s young guns, fired eight (YES 8) past a Gosport Borough team, that looks destined for bottom place this season.
The back-up match-reporter with pen and paper in hand, was ready for this big Hampshire derby, against a Gosport team, where we have had little success at Privett Park in recent years.
Terry Brown, continued with the same line-up as Saturday’s game against Chesham with; McAdden in goal, Marcus Johnson-Schuster, Shane Hollamby, Dan Bayliss and Tim Wohlfiel at the back, Michael Atkinson, Dan Collier & Charlie Kennedy in midfield, with Sam Smart, Aaron Jarvis & Ben Wright upfront.
Substitutes; Davis, McKnight, Artwell, Holt & Bennett.
The game kicked off and within the first minute (54 seconds according to my watch), the first of many attacks down the right led to an Atkinson cross, which was met by Ben Wright’s header that looped into the far-right corner of the goal. The Basingstoke fans behind the goal leapt with joy, unaware of what was to unfold for the rest of the game.
Just two minutes later, Ben Wright re-gained the ball on the edge of the Gosport box, turned and bent a shot just a yard wide of the far post.
Further attacking runs by Sam Smart down the right led to crosses by Smart & Johnson-Schuster, but both were hooked away by the Borough defence.
On 11 minutes, Gosport broke away down the left, but the resulting cross ended up beating everyone in the air and Wohlfiel comfortably cleared the ball.
Then on 14 minutes a clip over the Gosport back four with the speedy Sam Smart chasing down the ball the defender (McCarthy) and keeper (Cafer), decided to collide with each other, leaving Smart to head home a ball from eight yards out.
Then on 19 minutes Aaron Jarvis takes a hit to the face and the resulting Ben Wright free-kick flies over the bar. A minute later, another one-two passing move down the right, ends with another a dangerous Smart cross, which the keeper bravely holds onto at the feet of Jarvis.
Further quality slick passing movement from right to left, gives impressive new-boy Tim Wohlfiel a chance to cross the ball, which is desperately hoofed into the park outside the ground.
On 28 minutes a lovely one-two between Charlie Kennedy and Ben Wright, ends with a powerful volley over the bar.
Gosport, who had been virtually penned in their own half for the first 30 minutes broke down the right, but a wild shot ended up close to the corner flag than the Stoke goal.
On 31 minutes, following some beautiful quick passing by Kennedy & Atkinson, led to a speculative 30-yard shot which ends up five yards wide. In the same minute Stoke again attacked and another Atkinson pass leads to another shot by Jarvis, which this time brings a decent save by the keeper.
Then on 34 minutes, another passing move between Atkinson, Kennedy and Smart, feeds the ball to Wright on the edge of the box, who pulled his shot just a yard wide, with the keeper helpless.
On 35 minutes, with the match-reporter quickly shifting to another sheet of blank paper, another stunning speedy move down the right leads to another Smart cross which no-one can get the finishing touch.
Three minutes later Smart moves over to left wing which leads to a quality pass by Wohlfiel to Smart who cuts inside and his shot is blocked by a Gosport defender.
One or two Basingstoke fans were restless and wanting a third goal to sink a Gosport defence that was sinking fast, but had not yet sunk.
Then on 40 minutes another pass to Smart,was pulled down just inside the box and the ref correctly awarded the penalty.
Anyone who knows this match-reporter, is aware that he always turns his back to the penalty kick and awaits the resulting cheer of the BTG. This lucky superstition worked again and I was told that the Ben Wright kick with the keeper getting a hand to the ball, could not prevent it hitting the bottom right-hand corner of the goal.
With the score 0 – 3, the Stoke boys were far from finished and on 43 minutes another penetrating attack was yet again hacked clear by a Gosport defender.
Half-time Gosport Borough 0 – 3 Basingstoke Town
With a much-needed amber nectar half-time refreshment, the second-half kicked off and within seconds yet another Basingstoke move cut open the Gosport defence again which culminates with Charlie Kennedy driving a low ball across the face of the goal, only to be saved by the keeper.
The onslaught continued and on 48 minutes another weaving run by the rising fan-favourite Sam Smart ends with him firing past the keeper to make it 0 – 4.
Gosport reacted to this fourth goal by making all three substitutions at once. It seemed most of the Gosport team wanted to be taken off, but those remained were to suffer more chasing shadows for the rest of the match.
On 52 minutes, Jarvis found some open space in the box, but his shot rebounds off the post and away from danger.
Then on 54 minutes the Stoke keeper Colm McAdden, earned his money, as a Gosport forward found himself free as he entered the box, but his shot was parried up in the air by the diving keeper onto the top of the crossbar and Johnson-Schuster calmly cleared the ball to Collier.
On 56 minutes (another sheet of paper), another breakaway by Jarvis, another cross pulls out a last-ditch save by the keeper for the corner. That was to be Aaron Jarvis’s last input of the game as he was replaced by Conor Davis.
Further passing attacks over the next five minutes led to more pressure but no real goalmouth incidents.
Then on 65 minutes Michael Atkinson was replaced by Jack McKnight. Within seconds McKnight won the ball and a crossfield pass to Wohlfiel led to another attack down the left, which Gosport managed to boot clear.
With 70 minutes gone, following a foul, Stoke, made their final change as the much-awaited return of Ashleigh Artwell finally happened, for the new kid-on-the-block Sam Smart, who went off to a rapturous cheer from the Basingstoke fans. Artwell, possibly with something to prove, immediately proved why he is class, as a sublime one-two pass between Wright & Artwell split open the Gosport defence, which allowed Artwell the time and space in the box who calmly crossed the ball for the open McKnight, who taps it home to make it 0 – 5.
On 72 minutes, a further free-kick saw a ballooning shot by Wright 10 yards over the bar. Two minutes later a weaving run by Davis, whose shot was deflected away for a corner. Although the resulting corner was cleared, Basingstoke immediately broke down the right and the McKnight cross, finds a Gosport defender, who in an effort to clear the ball, clips it into his own net.
Two minutes later (78), with the match-reporter starting to run out of paper, Basingstoke made it 7 from another cross, Collier slams home the ball.
Further attacks from Stoke were then rudely interrupted by two attacks by Gosport, the first being comfortably saved by McAdden. The second was defended well by Shane Hollamby.
Then on 90 minutes a stunning move by Artwell ends with another last-ditch clearance for yet another corner. The resulting corner (91 mins), finds McKnight with the time and space to volley home into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal and to end the misery for Gosport.
The referee quickly blew his whistle on one of the greatest one-sided performances I have ever seen.
It is also believed to be the largest winning margin for an away game by Basingstoke.
Final Score: Gosport Borough 0 – 8 Basingstoke Town
Goal Scorers; Wright 1, 40 (pen), Smart 16, 48, McKnight 70, 91, Sanders 75 (OG), Bayliss 78.
Post-Match Thoughts – Not sure where to start. This was a simply scintillating all-round performance of quality passing, creative attacks from midfield to the forwards. Yet again the sheer pace of Smart and others was too much for a woeful Gosport team. The defence was solid today and Hollamby’s back-to-back strong performance along with Dan Bayliss is starting to come together as a unit. Along with new-boy Tim Wohlfiel who had an even more impressive game today than at Chesham, looks another gem in the making. The midfield trio of Atkinson, Kennedy and Collier were dominating today and Kennedy’s attacking threat improves each week. The forward line led by Ben Wright, is supplemented by the pace of Sam Smart and effort of Aaron Jarvis.
A lot of fans with me, thought Sam Smart was Man-of-the-Match today, but I feel this would distract away from such a solid team performance who all played their parts today, including the return of Artwell and new boy Jack McKnight’s first brace for the club.
Man-of-the-match – Basingstoke Squad
Match-Reporter and War and Peace contributor – Martin French