Match Preview: Basingstoke Town v Farnborough Town Hampshire Snr Cup

Hampshire Senior Cup 2nd Round Tuesday 18th September2018

Basingstoke Town v Farnborough Town

With both teams receiving a 1st round bye due to their league status, our local rivals Farnborough Town visit us in the 2nd round with bragging rights set.

Basingstoke last won the Cup just two seasons ago, when we won 7 – 6 on penalties down at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium, against AFC Bournemouth’s U21’s team in May 2017. For those of you who attended that victorious night, it is noted that our line-up for this Tuesday’s match, will contain just four of that squad who played for us that night. George Bennett & Dan Collier both started that night, with Sam Deadfield & present Captain Charlie Kennedy both coming off the bench that night. Three of those four took also penalties that night, with Bennett’s being saved, whilst both Sam Deadfield and more importantly Charlie Kennedy’s, the winning kick were both successful that night.  

Prior to that Basingstoke won 3 -2 in the 2013/14 season against Havant & Waterlooville, this time at Portsmouth’s Fratton Park. The last time Farnborough appeared in a final was in 2007/08 when we beat them 1-0 at Bournemouth’s old ground Dean Court. Farnborough’s last win and our last loss was two season’s prior to that in 2006/07 when we lost 1-0 also at Dean Court.

Anyway, back to this season’s match-up. It is hoped by many fans that Stoke will take this competition seriously, but also with the understanding that Saturday’s FA Cup match at Bristol Manor Farm is vastly more important, not just for prestigious reasons but also financially as well. I expect to see a couple of our squad players either to get starts for this match, or to replace some of our star players at some point in the 2nd half.  This would be an ideal opportunity for Callum Bunting to get a well-deserved start, then introducing others such as Ben Wright, Jack McKnight, Liam Hunt, Harry Long, whilst allowing for players like Hollamby & Kennedy to rest up for Saturday.

Farnborough, known at the ‘Boro’ enter this match-up following last Saturday’s 3-2 home win against Frome Town. They currently sit just two places behind us in 7th place with 13 pts.

Including last Saturday’s result, they have won 4 times, drawn once and lost twice (0-1 at home to Merthyr and 2-1 at Hendon). They did beat promotion favourites Weymouth 4 – 3 at home and have scored one more league goal than us, so our defence will need to be sharper than last Saturday.

One thing Farnborough are known for is their high turnover of players, which is already underway this season with well-known Non-League striker Jefferson Louis departing already. They do have known strikers Perry Coles from Slough and Captain Connor Calcutt likely to face us tomorrow night, along with goal-scoring midfielders Michael Elias-Fernandes and Luke Robertson (both with 3 goals each). They also have an advantage over us with the fact they have a free weekend coming up, as whilst Stoke will be taking a trip to Bristol Manor Farm, they don’t have an FA Cup match this weekend as they lost at Lewes 4 – 1 on penalties in the replay last Tuesday night after drawing 2-2 at home initially.

Sitting in the stands on Tuesday could be ex-Basingstoke midfielder Michael Atkinson, who decided to join Farnborough last week. We wish him well going forward, but certainly not tomorrow night as we face our biggest rivals in the first of three matches this season.

I’m hoping for a good turnout for this one at the Camrose and let’s get behind our team.

Match Preview by Martin French..