Match Preview: Evo Stick South Premier Division South
Basingstoke Town v Hartley Wintney (The Row)
When: Tuesday 27th November 2018 Kick-off 7.45pm
Where: The Camrose, Basingstoke, RG22 6EZ
Following our valiant, but unsuccessful FA Trophy penalty time loss to Torquay Utd, we return to league action just 72 hours later, as we entertain Hartley Wintney at the Camrose.
Hartley Wintney sit two places above us in the 13th spot, but after an impressive start to the season, they have gone on a run that is more appropriate to relegation form, having not won in the league since late September (9 games), when they put 5 past Staines Town on the road in a 3-5 match.
Their record sits at played 16, Won 4, Drawn 7 and lost 5 matches, having scored 29 goals, but conceded 31 goals and a total of 19pts.
Like us, they are out of both the FA Cup and Trophy competitions, losing 2-0 at Dorking Wanderers in the Cup, whilst losing 5-1 in a replay at Tiverton in the 1st Qualifying round of the Trophy.
Their squad contains a number of ex-Stoke players, Nathan Smart, Rowan Vine & Ross Cook. Mind you they can say the same about our squad containing ex-Hartley players.
Their leading goal-scorers in the league are Nic Ciardini & Michael Campbell with 4 a piece and their version of a penalty specialist in midfielder Tyron Smith with 3 spot successful spot kicks.
Defensively we will have to out-duel veteran centre-back Steve Noakes, which we struggled to do last season in the Cup.
As for us, Terry Brown will need to re-focus his squad for this match and get them back into a League mentality, if we are to get back on track and make a push back-up the league following recent losses in the league.
I would expect hope and expect that we start with our strongest line-up, which will be similar to yesterday’s line-up against Torquay.
I’m hoping that we can get back on that goal-scoring run, with the 3 Sam’s Argent, Smart & Deadfield key, along with the attacking threat of Jack McKnight. It would also be good if Mitchell Parker, gets some game-time and gets on the scoresheet, so the Stoke fans can really see what he can do.
With Kennedy & Collier controlling the midfield battle, this will allow us to be able to take the pressure of our defence, who for large parts of the 2hr marathon yesterday, played very well.
Injury concerns will be around the fitness of keeper Colm McAdden and a possible groin strain?
Whatever happens against our local opponents, if we win it will be stated ‘as expected’, if we lose, then it’s another notch for the sleepy little village team, that they promote so well.
Odds please on Monday Ian.
Match Preview by Martin French