Match Preview: Southern League Division One South
Basingstoke Town v Mangotsfield Utd
When: Tuesday 27th October 2020 Kick-off 7.45pm
Where: Winklebury Sports Complex, Winklebury Way, Basingstoke. RG23 8BF
Mangotsfield Utd (Nickname – The Field), Average 2020-21 Home Attendance 177
Admission Prices: Adult £10 Concessions £6 Kids £1 (Expected MATCH SELL OUT)
Following our first loss of the season in our showpiece game at Winklebury we are back home just 72 hours later, as we face opponents Mangotsfield who are bottom of the table.
Well the only team that did not beat us last season was the Field, as our game in the outskirts of Bristol back at the beginning of October saw us a pull of a well-deserved 1-1 draw under the lights. After missing a few chances we, then went behind early in the second-half, but fought back and earned a point via Mikey Davis’s quickness to a loose ball inside the 6-yard box. Either team could have grabbed all three points and was by far our best away performance at that time, even when defender Ryan Suckling was shown a straight red card.
The home tie, was a completely different game back in February, as The Field had financial issues and players left in droves.
Despite totalling dominating the game we only won 2-1, through goals from Simon Dunn and Bradley Wilson, before Utd pulled a late goal back.
This was our last win of the season, and possibly kept us above bottom-placed Barnstaple Town.
The Field come into this game on a string of losses, as they have yet to pick up a point from five league games this season, and they sit firmly at the bottom of the table. Their record just for confirmation is Played 5 Won 0 Drawn 0 Lost 5 GF 4 GA 14 with 0pts.
Mangotsfield who clearly still have huge financial concerns, probably have a younger team than we did a couple of years ago, and many players have come through from their successful academy team.
With just four league goals and two of them came on Saturday’s 2-3 home defeat against Slimbridge, it means that they have trouble finding the net, that must be a bonus for us. The four goals are shared between two for 18 year-old midfielder Harry Simons, one for 19 year-old defender Abe Noad and 20-year-old Wayne Nderemani.
Their forwards are 20 year-olds Marcus Kelly, George Neill, Dean Preddie, along with 23 year-old David English.
This young team managed by Glyn Ashton, are known as the ‘Young Mangos’, and I would expect them to work very much as unit. Their five losses started with a 0-1 loss to Frome Town, a 5-1 thrashing on the road at Winchester City, a 1-2 home defeat to Willand Rovers, a 3-0 loss at Larkhall and last Saturday’s 2-3 home defeat as stated above.
Well the weather was certainly not what we wanted for our first home league game back in Basingstoke. The result did not help either as we lost our unbeaten start, and now sit in fourth place, below Slimbridge, Cirencester Town and of course AFC Totton.
However, as many fans are fully aware, we have the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways as we host what is a very good young academy team in Mangotsfield.
We did score two more goals last Saturday, but defensive errors cost us.
Our record now sits at PLD 6 Won 4 Drawn 1 Lost 1 GF 20 GA 13 with 13pts.
Striker George Hallahan entered the game in the second-half on Saturday, and appeared to come through the game without further injury, so I am expecting him to be in the starting line-up for this match, as he provides that central attacking threat that has been missing for the past couple of games.
He will be joined by the midfield/winger strike-force of George Reid, Bradley Wilson and McKoy Palmer.
Reid, (my man-of-the-match last Saturday), was given the ball time and time again, and gave us the effort that was needed, but was well-marked by two Totton players for most of the match. Bradley Wilson also unlucky with the first-half disallowed goal, still added another one to his tally following the deflected shot, come cross, that pulled us back into the game.
In midfield we lost captain for the day Lewis Hayden to injury and it is thought he will miss this match-up but is expected back next Saturday. His role is likely to be taken by Captain Simon Dunn, who also appeared to come through his return in the second-half Saturday.
The rest of the midfield will be Ben Cook, who has scored more goals than he did last season, as he neatly finished for the second game in a row. Depending on Dan’s line-up both Dylan Ive and Harrison Cliff are in contention for the other midfield slots.
The defence had to battle the weather as much as Totton’s attack line, and coped reasonably well, but they did take their chances when they were presented them.
Dan has a number of decisions to make as Daryl Wollers should be match-fit and will look for his starting role back, which means we have Scotty Armsworth, Wollers and Shaun Dallimore, who played Saturday, and did nothing wrong to lose his starting role. At right-back, James Smith looks set, whilst Ben Jefford and Adam Everiss will battle for the left-back slot.
Goalkeeper Julian Schwarzer, was not at fault for the three goals that were conceded, and was understandably upset with the second goal after his superb save counted for nothing, following the rebound finish by the Totton player.
Still we do have Paul Strudley waiting in the wings if required.
Manager Dan Brownlie will head into Tuesday’s match-up knowing that three points will be expected against a very young Mangotsfield team, but again the expected poor weather will not make that task any easier than last Saturday.
Despite the weather, it is expected to be another 400 crowd capacity sell-out.
Match Preview by Martin French..