Bishop Stortford 2 v 0 Basingstoke Town
Saturday 14th October 2017 at ProKit Stadium, Bishop Stortford;
Another away game, another defeat. It can be quite soul-destroying being the away match-reporter.
On, a grey but warm Saturday afternoon in Hertfordshire, Basingstoke came to Bishop Stortford hoping to pick up some points from an away game on paper that they should do.
Terry Brown decided to go with a starting 11 of. McAdden in goal, Johnson-Schuster, Hollamby, Bayliss and Bennett in defence. Collier, Kennedy & Artwell in midfield, with Smart, Wright & Argent up front.
On the bench were; Bunting, Atkinson, Demuria, McKnight and Wohlfiel.
In this league a 3pm kick-off actually starts at 2.59 or 2.58pm or in today’s case, as both sets of fans were still finding their place to sit or stand, when the referee blew the whistle to start the game.
Basingstoke had the early advantage in the first few minutes, but attacks by Smart and Artwell end up with nothing. Stortford respond on 6 minutes, with two quick attacks, but both well wide of the Stoke goal.
On 11 minutes, with Stortford gaining more possession, they again break on the right, but the shot is straight at McAdden, who comfortably saves the ball.
On 13 minutes (and maybe an omen for the day), Charlie Kennedy wins the ball on the halfway-line and surges towards the Stortford goal, he neatly slips the ball to Sam Argent, who on the edge of the box, shoots, the keeper is beaten, but it rebounds out off the inside of the post and the ball is scrambled away.
Stortford break again and a further shot is saved by McAdden. The home team are now starting to win the battle in midfield and from a Stortford, corner on 19 minutes, their player who is completely unmarked at the far post, fortunately shoots wildly over the bar.
An early observation I noted on my phone is that Bayliss is playing out of his boots, as he seems to be winning everything in the air and on the ground.
On 23 minutes and possibly a deciding factor in the game, as Basingstoke attack, Smart is fed the ball on the wing with space, the linesman (the only one in the ground), thinks it’s offside and the ref blows for the kick. Stortford take a quick free-kick and break down the right, the forward cuts in on his left and his first shot is parried away by McAdden, but the rebound is swept into the net.
Bishop Stortford 1 – 0 Basingstoke Town
The Stoke fans and officials, situated by the offending linesman, quite rightly decide to tell him, that he got that one wrong.
On 26 minutes, Artwell wins a free-kick on the left-hand-side of the box. Wright’s quality free-kick, is there for the header, but it’s cleared away.
Stortford, continue to put more pressure on the Stoke defence, but on 33 minutes, a Bennett free-kick just inside the opposition’s half, is cleared away, but Smart is fed the ball again and a quick one-two with Collier, but Smarts cross is deflected softly to the keeper.
Stortford continue to press, but Artwell wins the ball on the edge of our box, and goes on a run of 50yards, beating two Stortford defenders on the way, but the 3rd defender thinks a handful of Artwell’s shirt and three shoves on Artwell, who finally loses the ball won’t be noticed by the referee. Well he was right, as the referee waves play-on. A Basingstoke fan, just 15 yards from the incident shouts “Are you ******* kidding me”.