Around the League on Boxing Day – 26th December 2018
With a full schedule on Boxing Day and no other games planned until Saturday, I will do the mid-week update today.
Starting with our own game down at Gosport, where the normal level of our support for this fixture was down, way down, due to it being on Boxing Day with no train service and to be honest, a number of fans had visited this ground numerous times before.
Yet again we played adventurous attacking football on the road and to many we dominated the vast percentage of the game. We shot at will yesterday, we crossed poorly, and we finished badly when we had the chance. Their tall keeper made saves with his body and legs at key points of the game.
Despite this we scored twice on the road, but when you can’t stop the opposition when needed, then you will end of the back of results like this.
Gosport fans know they got away with the result yesterday, but part of this was due to the poor refereeing yesterday, which allowed numerous poor heavy fouls to go unpunished.
My real concern is what we do at corners, we have no height in the team, so we win very little in the air, lots of corners fail to beat the first defender, but then we don’t appear to have anyone at the near post to flick the ball on either. One thing George Bennett was good at was whipping in fast dangerous corners that could cause the defence problems, but we haven’t seemed to have replaced that option.
We slipped back to 17th again, but despite games in hand, we are now just 3 points away from the 3 relegation places.
We have another league road trip, this time to Beaconsfield on Saturday, which will be another tough match assignment for the team. Then we have 8 games in January. Our players will be busy and under a lot or pressure to play Saturday, Tuesday then Saturday again.
Will we cope, will Martin Kuhl and his management team come up with a plan, only time will tell.
As per most Bank Holidays, the league tries to limit the travel way for the clubs and it’s fans, so they try and put clubs geographically closer to each other where possible. This allows the possibility of larger crowd attendances at important times. This also allows for a number of early kick-offs as there was yesterday.
As per most of my weekly posts, I will start with the teams at the top, and top of the table are Taunton Town who hosted fellow Somerset based Tiverton Town in front of a bumper crowd of a reported 1377 fans. Taunton had a two-nil half-time lead and although Tiverton pegged one back via Steven Colwell on 69 mins, they held on to win and maintain their 7-point advantage at the top.
This lead could have been more if second placed Weymouth on the road to nearby Dorchester Town in front of a huge crowd of 2,217 fans, hadn’t got the only goal of the game via their goal-machine Brandon Goodship as time ran out on 89 mins.
Third placed Salisbury travelled across the M4 divide to nearby Swindon Supermarine and were being held for an hour before they took the lead, but then two quick goals by Marine’s Conor McDonagh put the Whites behind until the 83rd minute when a Daniel Fitchett earned them a 2-2 draw and a valuable point. Yet again a crowd of 366, almost 3 times their normal attendance proved superb financial support for the home team.
Harrow Borough moved into 4thspot above Met Police, when they beat the free-falling Hendon FC at home 3-1. Despite going behind to a 6th minute penalty taken by Ricardo German, Harrow equalised behind Ryan Moss, then came out second half and added goals by Jordan Ireland and Dylan Kearney.
Met Police as stated dropped a slot to 5thafter they lost their 1-2 lead at Walton Casuals, who got a 92nd minute equaliser. Jack Mazzone got on the scoresheet for the Old Bill for the 12th time this season.
At the bottom, Staines Town in their early kick-off at Beaconsfield took an amazing 0-2 lead after just four minutes, but simply couldn’t hold on as the Rams came roaring back to level by half-time. Beaconsfield then got the winner on 75 via Brendan Matthew to pile more pressure on the Staines Town club, as they are now 12 points behind the other two relegation teams.
Those other two teams had mixed fortunes, as Chesham Utd halted Kings Langley’s winning run with a 3-0 home win. Frome Town lost at home to 2-3 after conceding an 86 minute goal by Merthyr’s Ian Traylor.
The two teams below Basingstoke are Dorchester already covered and Wimborne Town who helped themselves to five goals at Poole Town. After trailing 2-1, then they bounced back with four goals in the last 20 minutes of the match and stunned the 818 fans at the game.
The remaining game in our league saw local rivals Farnborough and Hartley Wintney play out a 1-1 draw. Perry Coles gave the home team the lead on 20 mins, only for a late strike by Jack Ball to split the points.
Basingstoke Fixture Updates
It has been confirmed that the League Challenge Cup match at home to Hartley Wintney will take place on Tuesday 8th January, just 3 days after we play them at their ground in the league.
We were due to face Kings Langley away match in the league on Tuesday 15th January, however this will now need to be rearranged yet once more, as following the draw for the Qtr-Final of the Hampshire Snr Cup last Saturday evening, we will now travel to Fareham Town on that evening.
Hampshire Snr Cup Full Draw
Here is the full draw for the Qtr-Finals to be played the week commencing 14th January. There are a number of 3rd round ties to be played before this round.
Fareham Town v Basingstoke Town
Sholing Utd v Horndean or AFC Bournemouth
Bournemouth v Southampton FC
Havant & Waterlooville v Team Solent
Leading League Goals Scorers
All the leading goals scorers added to their tallies yesterday and this leaves the table looking like this;
Ricardo German – Hendon 17
Brandon Goodship – Weymouth 17
Ian Traylor – Merthyr 12
Ryan Penney – Gosport Borough 12
Jack Mazzone – Met Police 12
Andrew Neal – Taunton Town 12
Conor McDonagh – Swindon Supermarine – 12
This Saturday’s adventure will see Basingstoke Town’s last game before the New Year and our trip to Farnborough. For those who like to party on New Year’s Eve, take a moment and raise a glass and wish for a better 2019 for our team and once and for all hope that the Community Club finally takes over next year.