Isthmian League South Central Division 14th August 2021
Binfield 0 v 1 Basingstoke Town Attendance 403
Where: Hill Farm Lane, Binfield, Berkshire RG42 5NR
Stoke win on opening day in return to Isthmian League
Manager Dan Brownlie went with an opening day line-up of 1. Julian Schwarzer, 2. Daniel Williamson, 3. James Howarth, 4. Shaun Dallimore, 5. Scott Armsworth, 6. D’Andre Brown, 7. McKoy Palmer, 8. Ben Cook (Capt), 9. Conor Lynch, 10. Bradley Wilson, 11. George Reid
On the bench: Simon Dunn, Adam Everiss, Daryl Wollers, Lewis Hayden and Aidan Lewis
Referee – Russell Jones
With the sun beating down on a large crowd swelled by a large contingent of Stoke fans, the game got underway on the opening day of the 2021-22 season.
It was Stoke who looked to be on the front foot in the early minutes with attacks down both wings, but neither failed to produce anything of note.
Binfield had their first real attack on 10 mins, but the shot hits the outside of the post and goes for a goal-kick. Then on 12 mins, Stoke have the ball in the net, but the linesman has flagged Bradley Wilson offside.
Stoke then win a corner through George Reid down the right, and over trots Ben Cook to take the corner. His resulting swinging corner is met with perfection by a clean header from Scott Armworth, and the ball flies into the net. Binfield 0 v 1 Basingstoke Town (Armsworth)
It is Stoke back on the attack a few minutes later and a corner from Cook the other side finds Scotty again, but the challenge sends the header over the bar and out for a goal-kick.
Another attack from Stoke sees, Lynch pull his shot wide of the post.
Reidy playing down the right creates another chance as his cross is met by Lynch, whose glancing header is sent narrowly wide of the post.
More Stoke pressure from Reid and Palmer down the flanks stretch Binfield’s back line, but one attack comes to nothing, the other sees our goal-scorer Scotty forces the Bindield keeper into a save.
Then moving into the last ten minutes of the first half, the home side come into the game and have tow chances that could have levelled the score, and it’s ex-Stokie Callum Bunting with a shot that hits the bar and flies away.
Halftime Binfield 0 v 1 Basingstoke Town
Back underway, and it more pressure from Binfield, as they push for an equaliser but we are holding firm at the moment.
On 57 minutes we create two good chances, and Lynch is involved in both, as he provides chances for Wilson ane then Captain for the day Ben Cook, but neither can double our lead.
The game seems to be getting stretched and both teams break but the crosses fly wide for both sides.
It’s Dunny time as he replaces McKoy Palmer with just over 10 minutes to go, and Cook’s time is up as captain as he gives Dunny the armband.
Binfield are still seeking an equaliser, but fail to produce anything on target and we have our first booking, as a new-boy James Howarth, goes in the book.
Two more attacks from Stoke, but again they fail to trouble the Binfield keeper.
Just under five minutes to go and a hardworking performance by D’Andre Brown is ended, as he is replaced by the welcome sight of Lewis Hayden back to the Stoke side.
Into injury-time now and Scotty finds the refs’ notebook for the second time, but this is for a yellow card this time.
Binfield have another half-chance, but we are holding firm, despite an amazingly long amount of injury-time, until the ref calls time on the match, and the jubillant travelling Stoke fans clap their side of the pitch.
Final Score: Binfield 0 – 1 Basingstoke Town
The good hard-working all-round team performance and a clean sheet, sees us sit 7th in the table on goal-difference.
With a bit of luck we could have doubled our lead in the first-half and some good debut performances by Williamson & Howarth show promise for the future. It was good to see both Dunn and Hayden back on the pitch.
With no mid-week match, we move to the important FA Cup tie at Winklebury as we host AFC Totton, next Saturday with a 3pm kick-off.
Match Report by Martin French..