Match Preview: Isthmian League South Central Division
Basingstoke Town v Hanwell Town
When: Saturday 28th August 2021 Kick-off 3pm
Where: Winklebury Sports Complex, Winklebury Way, Basingstoke. RG23 8BF
Hanwell Town (Nickname – The Geordies), Average 2020-21 Home Attendance 215
Admission Prices: Adults £10, Concessions £7 Aged 13-17 £3 Aged 12 and Under £1
We return to league football and our opening home game of the season at Winklebury against unknown Hanwell Town, following our league win on the road at Binfields 0-1 and last Saturday’s come from behind 2-1 win against AFC Totton in the FA Cup.
Well not only switching leagues back to the Isthmian League, it also appears that we have never played Hanwell Town before.
Hanwell Town however finished in 7th place in this league last season, before the curtailment of football, with a record of PLD 8 Wins 4, Draw 1, Losses 3, with GF 15 GA 12 and 13pts.
The Geordies jointly managed by Wayne Carter & Chris Moore, started their league campaign with a good 1-1 draw at home to much-fancied Bracknell Town. Hanwell took the lead through striker Tomasz Siemenczuk, but Bracknell equalised before half-time, through ex-Stoke defender Dan Bayliss. This was in front of 281 fans. This was then followed up by a 5-0 thrashing of Essex Senior League side Athletic Newham. The five goals were shared amongst five different players, but in front of a much smaller 142 crowd.
There is very little information on the Hanwell side, but the attack will likely be led by strikers Tomasz Siemenczuk &Toch Singh.
But any team that deservedly takes points off Bracknell will need to be watched closely.
After last Saturday’s, battling but not overly entertaining win in the FA Cup against a tough AFC Totton side, we can now turn our attention back to the more important task of winning points in the league, as we face Hanwell Town from North-West London, in our first home league game of the season.
For those fans who are expecting a repeat of the goals galore performances of last season, maybe well be a little disappointed, as on first glance this appears to be a much tougher league, and performances and points will be hard fought and indeed well-earned this season.
This is not to say that Dan Brownlie has not put a squad of talented players together, because it is clear he has done this, and they clearly enjoy working together and this should hopefully reflect this on the pitch as we go through the season.
The AFC Totton match, represented two teams giving little in defence and a hard-tackling midfield battle, throughout most of the game, was settled via the penalty spot. As those who watched the game, it saw two Stoke players, and surprisingly only four players from the Stags booked on the day.
This Saturday we face Hanwell Town, who by all counts were the better of the teams in their 1-1 draw against Bracknell, so we will need to be at our best, to get the victory.
The Geordies will know that they face 90 minutes of all-out attacking from our numerous options on the wing and upfront, and stopping Reidy and Palmer may not be as easy as expected. With Conor Lynch and Bradley Wilson causing constant pressure on Hanwell’s backline, I am hoping chances will be more freely found this Saturday.
Seeing a strong 90-minute performance by captain Simon Dunn, must have lifted the whole Basingstoke faithful for matches going forward and with the expected return of Lewis Hayden on the horizon, even if not this Saturday, will bolster the midfield core of players. Again, the young D’Andre Brown impressed the home crowd, and his performances look more accomplished by a veteran player, not one joining the first-team squad for his first full season. Ben Cook may well need to earn his starting role again, and this leaves the Manager with some tough decisions. Waiting on the bench is Lloyd Snell, who has done nothing to harm his place, when he has entered the field as a substitute.
At the back, and last week’s towering performance by Shaun Dallimore at the back, seemed to be the man-of-the-match performance for many home fans. This was alongside much-loved Scott Armsworth in the centre-back roles. What is noted is how well the two new backs Daniel Williamson and James Haworth have settled in, and it was clear that Williamson’s roving performance pushed Totton back into their own half more than they were expecting, He also earned the second penalty with his run inside the penalty area.
The goal-keeping option will be a source for debate all-season long and although Strudders gave away the penalty, it was the assured catch from the corner on 94 minutes that reminds me of his experience.
Dan and Aaron have much to discuss and our line-up will be eagerly anticipated by the Stoke fans who turnout this Saturday, with expectations of a home-win and another three points.
With the weather expected to be dry and sunny, I urge all Stoke fans to come down and give your home team the support they deserve. The atmosphere last Saturday was the best at Winklebury since our return, so let’s outdo this tomorrow afternoon.
Match Preview by Martin French..