Match Preview: Evo Stick South Premier Division South
Basingstoke Town v Kings Langley (The Kings)
When: Saturday 16th February 2019 Kick-off 3.00pm
Where: The Camrose Stadium, Basingstoke. RG22 6DZ
Ok this is the reverse match to the away game just 19 days ago, where we lost 2-0 on that sleety snowy night, where frankly we didn’t turn up.
Since that last game Kings Langley have played just once and that was a 3-0 loss at Poole Town. They currently sit in 8th place with a record of PLD 27 WON 13 DRAWN 5 LOST 9 with 44pts.
Despite our 10-3 thrashing of Staines Town last Saturday, Kings Langley Managed by Steve Conroy will head into this game as the slight favourites.
In the last match the Kings leading goal-scorer, forward Mitchell Weiss missed the game, but I will assume he will be available this time. He still has 12 league goals, whilst the Kings other goals from the experienced league veteran, 32year-old Rene Howe, who joined from Kettering earlier this season who now has 8 goals, midfielder Stephen Ward who has 6 and defender Luke Wade-Slater, just 20 who has 5 goals.
It will also be the first match back at the Camrose for ‘Big Dave’ or Alex Tokarczyk to be exact, who has been instrumental in the Kings improvement between the sticks.
As for Basingstoke, we have won two of our last three games and with other results going our way we currently sit in 13th place. Still just three points away from the relegation spots, the pressure is on all teams who sit between us and 21st place.
Our record is now PLD 29 WON 10 DRAWN 5 LOST 14 with 35pts
I’m hoping fans will not be expecting another 10-goal bonanza as the Kings defence shows no signs of being so generous as Staines Town were.
It is possible that we will have options up front as Sam Argent and Manny Williams should be joined by the fit again Ben Wright. Sam Argent’s two goals last week now has him leading the goal-scoring charts for us in the league with 10 goals.
Manny Williams was superb last week, and with another full week of training with the rest of the squad, it is hoped we will see even more from him. However, two goals and an assist was a great start!
In midfield, the question is whether Harry Pearse will be over his illness to return alongside Sam Deadfield. If Sam Smart is allowed to have the freedom he did last week, then I expect our forward line to be busy for 90 minutes. Depending on what formation we go with and whether we can call on Kian Duncan, who has impressed me in all his appearances so far, otherwise it could be Akers getting a start or possibly Jack Granger’s first start?
The defence last Saturday looked vulnerable for a while once they got back level, but as the game wore on, most of the Staines players were helping out as we lay siege to their goal. However, there are likely to be numerous options available for Martin Kuhl this week, as it is hoped both Jack Wakely, Shane Hollamby will be in contention at the back.
Whatever line-up we go with, let’s be clear this will be a tough match and we will need to be at our best to match a decent Kings Langley team.
I also hope that although we will welcome ‘Big Dave’ back to the Camrose, that he leaves without a clean sheet!
Ian please do the honours with the odds for the game?
Match Preview by Martin French