Match Preview: Evo Stick South Premier Division South
Basingstoke Town v Merthyr Town (The Martyrs)
When: Saturday 17th November 2018 Kick-off 3pm
Where: The Camrose, Basingstoke, RG22 6EZ
As we enter the third Saturday in November, we entertain our 3rd opponent to the Camrose, as we return to League action against Merthyr Town.
So, what of our visitors Merthyr Town? Whilst we were beating Enfield to reach the 3rd Qualifying Rnd of the FA Trophy, Merthyr were getting dumped out 2-0 at Lewes.
The Martyrs are sitting two places above us in 8th place (1pt above us), in the league, but are currently on a bad run of form at the moment. After going unbeaten in August, they have won just twice since then. This was a 1-3 win at Walton in September and then a 2-6 win at lowly Staines in October. Despite failing to trouble the scoresheet in their last three league games, they have still scored 23 goals and have +7 goal advantage from 12 games in the league. Two of those games were losses against playoff placed teams Salisbury & Beaconsfield Town.
The vast majority of Merthyr’s goals come from two forwards, Tom Meecham with 10 goals in the league and cup, whilst fellow forward Ian Traylor has added 8 goals this season.
Last season’s visit by Merthyr in September was a 2-0 win to Basingstoke with a brace from Sam Smart. Then those four hardy fans who travelled to Wales on the Tuesday night, just six days before Christmas, saw us come away with a 1-1 draw, with Callum Bunting being the only one who could find the net against a financially strapped Merthyr team on the night.
Terry Brown got his 2nd tenure as Number One at the club with the close Cup win against Enfield, and will look to take that confidence back into the League.
England C player Mitchell Parker will be back from the Falklands and will look to earn a starting role going forward.
Rob Gerrard has already proved to be invaluable at the left back role and has solidified that side pf the defence.
Charlie Kennedy has impressed in his last couple of games and is regaining the form he produced last season. San Deadfield has also had a number of decent performances and hopefully over the niggling injury problems he had last season.
Sam Argent & Ben Wright are expected to lead the line this Saturday, and will have the goal-scoring threats of Sam Smart & Jack McKnight to support them.
We will have Parker and Akers on the bench, raring to get on and prove themselves.
Other questions will be what formation Terry will decide go with on Saturday and does Dan Collier get a starting role this week?
The defence behind Bayliss & Hollamby will need to be sharp against the Merthyr front two and I hope that any attacking runs by Dean Stow are covered by another player.
Again, as per my comment last week, “Whatever happens, I expect there to be goals, probably numerous”
A win Saturday will put us above Merthyr and the weather is expected to be dry and sunny again, so come along the Camrose and get behind Terry’s Boys in this important match against Merthyr!
Odds please on Friday Ian.
Match Preview by Martin French