Match Preview: Evo Stick South Premier Division South
Basingstoke Town v Met Police
When: Saturday 23rd March 2019 Kick-off 3.00pm
Where: The Camrose Stadium, Western Way, Basingstoke. RG22 6EZ
Finally off the 3G surfaces for the rest of the season, we return to the grass of the Camrose knowing that our home form starting this Saturday will be key in our survival over the next six weeks.
This Saturday we welcome the Metropolitan Police (Met Police), nicknamed the Blues, known as the Old Bill, they are Managed by Gavin MacPherson and are having a season beyond their wildest dreams as they sit in 3rd place and are likely guaranteed a playoff spot.
We met them at the Imber Sports Ground back in mid-October and came away with an amazing 4-4 draw, where on the day we could and should have had all 3 points.
After taking a lead via Sam Argent’s shot, we then shipped three goals before halftime, before pulling one back in injury-time of the first half from the now departed Jack McKnight. Coming out strong in the second-half with two goals inside the first seven minutes. Firstly a penalty conversion by Dean Stow and a tap home by Ben Wright. However, as per our away form this season, the home side levelled on 61 mins and despite us missing numerous chances, we only left with one point.
Met Police’s record sits at PLD 34 WON 19 DRAWN 10 LOST 5 with 67pts. They are the second highest goal-scorers in the league with 80 goals (Salisbury 81), and have conceded 52 goals, a +28 goal difference. On the road their record sits Won 6 Drawn 6 Lost 4, so they are beatable away from south-west London.
With a massive 80 goals scored their leading goal-scorers sit in the league’s top goal-scoring charts, with the forward pairing of Max Blackmore 19 and Jack Mazzone 18 goals, are now well backed up by midfielder Luke Robertson with 9 goals, striker Jonathan Hippolyte with 6 and midfielders John Gilbert 6 and Ethan Chislett with 5 goals respectively.
Their last 3 games on the road have brought two wins Kings Langley and Staines Town and one loss at Tiverton Town.
Coming back to the Camrose is a must for our team, who again failed to produce or even perform last Saturday at Dorchester Town.
Sitting in 18th place in the league our record now sits at Played 35 Won 12 Drawn 5 Lost 18 with 41pts.
Our home record stands at W 8 D 2 L 7 and have scored 35 goals at home, an average of 2.06 goals per game and we may need to hit that average or more to beat a team that will attack us all-day long.
With the expected debut of goalkeeper Chris Rackley from Thatcham Town until the end of the season, it will be interesting to see what centre-back pairing will sit in front of him this Saturday, but unless told otherwise, I think it will likely be Jack Wakely and Dan Bayliss again.
In midfield we hope that Sam Deadfield will be fit for this match-up after missing out last week and that he and Harry Pearse can dominate the midfield battle, with the likes of either Charlie Kennedy and or Michael Atkinson (who re-joined us from Met Police), trying to hold their attacking threat to a minimum.
Upfront, unless something changes squad-wise, will we go three up top being Sam Argent, Sam Smart and Ben Wright. Whoever it is they need to be provided with better service this week and then put these chances away.
With four games left, we can secure our safety this way, but as our home record shows we generally either win or lose. I hope it’s the former this Saturday.
The weather currently looks to be dry for Saturday, so let’s get behind our team and support them in this important match-up.
Odds please Ian, when you get a chance.
Match Preview by Martin French..