Match Preview: Isthmian League South Central Division
Basingstoke Town v Chalfont St Peter
When: Saturday 11th September 2021 Kick-off 3pm
Where: Winklebury Sports Complex, Winklebury Way, Basingstoke. RG23 8BF
Chalfont St Peter (Nickname – The Saints), Average 2021-22 Home Attendance 97
Admission Prices: Adults £10, Concessions £7 Aged 13-17 £3 Aged 12 and Under £1
After another successful victory in the cup at home to Bridgwater Utd, we return to league action and once more at Winklebury, as we host Chalfont St Peter.
The Saints have been managed by Finlay Johnson since the 2019/20 season after their previous manager Danny Edwards decided to step down after having managed them for over 700 games.
After an opening day 2-0 home win against Ashford Town, our opponents have slipped to four consecutive losses, including a loss at Hellenic League side Longlevens (3-2) in the FA Cup. This included a 90th minute winner for Longlevens, which then resulted in two red cards for Chalfont players defender Brandon Kalu & striker Alex Cathline.
They currently sit in 13th position, with a league record of Played 3 Won 1 Drawn 0 Loss 2 Goals For 3 Goals Against 7 Points 3.
The two league losses were a 5-1 defeat at Chipstead in front of a crowd of just 65 and then a 0-2 home loss to Marlow.
In goal is Andrew McCorkell and ex-u19 Northern Ireland keeper who has played at various clubs including Maidstone, Cheshunt and Hayes & Yeading in 2019.
In defence they may miss Brandon Kalu if suspended, whilst they do have ex-East Thurrock defender Ricky Brennan and club Captain Luke Elliott.
The midfield will contain Josh Boorn an ex-u19 Luton player, Panny Boxer ex-St Neots and winger Cheyce Grant who played last season at Hendon and has two league goals on the season. He is likely to be there free-kick taker around the penalty box.
Upfront if not suspended will be Alex Cathline who also has two goals, a big strong forwrad who had played more than 50 games for Beaconsfield Town, before joining the Saints, whilst Adam Roberts is the other main striker who has yet to find the net this season.
Your Basingstoke Town
Well the victory against lower league opponents Bridgwater did take longer than the 4-1 scoreline appeared, as we failed to make our vast possession count into goals early on as we opened the scoring on the stroke of halftime, after a neat finish by Conor Lynch. It was Lynch who doubled his and Stoke’s account early in the second-half, and even when the visitors were reduced to ten-men, the game took a surprise twist as Bridgwater pulled a goal back. Again Stoke dominated possession which included a missed penalty, but we finally put the game away with D’Andre Brown’s first goal for the first team on 87 minutes. A fourth goal in added time, and Lynch’s hat-trick was the icing on the cake in front of a large 659 crowd. Just to confirm we will host Wimborne Town next Saturday in the next round.
The week before this hard-earned league wins against Hanwell Town (2-1) and on the road, well down the road really at Thatcham (2-3), leaves us top of the league as we face a Chalfont St Peter side.
As stated we sit top of the league with the only 100% record, 3 wins from 3 games and a goal difference of plus 3.
On the good news front, is the expected return of midfield genius George Reid, alongside Captain Simon Dunn, Ben Cook and quite probably D’Andre Brown.
The frontline will again be led by Conor Lynch, who already has six goals, but just one in the league this season.
There is also the much-awaited debut of Stefan Brown, maybe still a game or so away, whilst Bradley Wilson and McKoy Palmer will surely feature in a strong attacking line-up, that the Saints may well struggle to contain. The hopeful fitness of Lloyd Snell will also give tough decisions for the management on who makes the starting line-up whilst who starts on the bench.
The defence depending on availability should remain the same as last Saturday’s cup match, Dan Williamson, Scott Armsworth, Shaun Dallimore & James Howarth, but Aiden Lewis and the welcome sight of Daryl Wollers are itching to be given a chance to show the home crowd what they can do.
Predicting who will be between the sticks is never easy, but Paul Strudley probably has in the Manager’s eyes the edge over Julian Schwarzer, not just because of his experience, but his penalty save exploits at Thatcham Town.
What is expected is that Basingstoke will look to extend their unbeaten record, in front of another large home crowd.
Match Preview by Martin French..