Match Preview: Basingstoke Town v Bristol Manor Farm – Saturday 23rd November 2019

Match Preview: Bet Victor Division One South

Basingstoke Town v Bristol Manor Farm

When: Saturday 23rd November 2019 Kick-off 3pm

Where: The SimplyHealth Ground, Hillier Way, Winchester. SO23 7SR

Bristol Manor Farm (Nickname – The Portwaymen), Average 2019-20 Home Attendance 179

At least we are back in Hampshire after a month on the road, and we entertain, the team who knocked us out of the FA Cup last season 5-2 in one of our worst performances last season.

That game also included the famous Jason Bristow halftime discussion (?), with the Manor Farm’s Manager Lee Lashenko. Let’s just say it was one eventful day and draw a line under it. Since Jason’s departure we are on our second Manager in 14 months.

This season Bristol Manor Farm, started poorly and after being bottom of the table until October, cup competitions delayed their revival but they then went on a mini-run that included 3 wins and a draw in the league. Whilst we lost on the road last Saturday at Willand, Manor Farm were beaten 0-3 by Evesham Utd.

They were also involved in the only league game this week, as they trailed 0-2 to Slimbridge at halftime, but a goal on the hour from Lewis Bamford and a late equaliser by Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist earned them a point.

In the league the Farm currently sit in 10th place with an overall record of PLD 11 WON 4 DRAWN 4 LOST 3 GF 17 GA 17 PTS 16. Ok the Looking at their league goal-scorers, it is headed by forward Joseph Tumelty with 4 goals, forward Lewis Bamford has 3 goals, whilst their two other forwards Jamie Bird and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist both have two league goals.

The FA cup competition had hindered the number of league games they had played, as their cup exploits included a preliminary Rd 5-2 win at Clevedon, a 1st Qualifying Rd 3-1 win at Bridgewater, a big 4-2 win at Tiverton in the 2nd Qual Rd, then in the 3rd Qualifying Rd they faced current National League South Leaders Wealdstone holding them to a 0-0 draw at the Creek, before coming unstuck 4-0 in the replay. What did that earn them in gate receipts etc, I don’t know, but in prize money a total of £17,890. Boy could our Community Club do with that!

In the FA Trophy they did not fare so well losing on the road to Sholing 2-1 in the preliminary round after putting 7 past Moneyfields in a 7-1 victory in the extra preliminary round.

Currently visiting teams are coming with an expectation of leaving with points and Manor Farm will be no different.

As for your Basingstoke Town side, with three losses in a row, that early hope of moving up the table has hit a stumbling block and last week’s less than pleasing 4 – 1 loss to lowly Willand, was without doubt the worst under Dan Brownlie’s reign.

The loss to another team at the bottom, is probably of equal concern, as the teams at the bottom are the ones we need to win to get ourselves out of the relegation battle. Our records against teams at the bottom now stands at 1 draw and 3 losses from 4 games.

Yet again we failed to take that early chance and were mean’t to pay for our poor marking on the day.

Missed chances early in the second-half when we were only 2-0 down killed our chances of a revival and we were made to pay by a hat-trick from Dean Stamp on the day.

A late bizarre incident afforded us a penalty comfortably put away by Ben Wright, who in my books was one of our better players on the day.

We also saw the debut of young Kalum Cousins who came on as a second-half substitution and within a few minutes he broke away from his marker and had a decent shot on goal. Cousins is known for being a natural goal-scorer in the academy and may well be needed in what is a goal-shy first team currently.

What we seemed naïve about last week, was when we continuously pumped ball after ball in the air into the penalty area. We have no real height and Willand’s goalkeeper and two centre-backs easily dealt with virtually every cross.

After last Saturday’s league results we slipped down one place to 18th in the league and sit with a record of PLD 12 Won 2 Drawn 3 Lost 7 GF 15 GA 22 with 9pts.

On the injury-front, I am currently only aware that Reuben Collins is likely to miss the game, while he continues his recovery from injury.

Riccardo Andrady who started on the bench last week (due to a mid-week illness), is likely to regain his starting role.

This Saturday we simply need to play to our strengths which is speed and putting in low crosses that put the opposition back four under pressure. The pitch at Winchester will suit our attack, more than Willand’s uncut pitch, but the midfield must support Ben Wright up front and also put more pressure on the opposing goalkeeper.

Equally important is to find a striker to replace the goals of Zach Robinson, we need goals as 15 from 12 games, is simply not enough to win games in this league.

We also need our younger players to be a bit more professional and not get pushed around by the opposition. The fans will always back you if you do!

This is a big game, well they are all actually, but this Saturday is a chance to put right the recent trend and get us back to winning ways.

What it does need is our fans to do your Christmas shopping online and come down to Winchester and get behind your team. They need your support more than ever!

Match Preview by Martin French..