Match Preview: Evo Stick South Premier Division South
Basingstoke Town v Salisbury (The Whites)
When: Tuesday 5th February 2019 Kick-off 7.45pm
Where: The Camrose, Basingstoke. RG22 6EZ
Well following our non-segregated big-time win at second placed Weymouth, the team will now face third placed Salisbury to the Camrose.
Salisbury like Weymouth are pushing hard for the playoffs and they are managed by ex-football league player and football commentator Steve Claridge.
Salisbury were like us, just one of 6 teams who played last Saturday, as they travelled to Hendon and despite two goals by their leading goal-scorer Daniel Fitchett, were held 2-2 after a late dramatic 93rd minute equaliser by ex-Farnborough forward Conor Calcutt.
Claridge has led his team to a record of PLD 27 WON 15 DRAWN 7 LOST 5 with 52pts. They have a +21 goal difference and have scored the 3rd most goals in the league with 66. 27-year old forward Daniel Fitchett now has 12 goals on the season and is backed up by fellow forward Luke Hopper with 11 goals and Thomas Whelan with 8 and Lewis Benson with 7.
They will come to the Camrose, with expectations of leaving with 3 points.
Well Basingstoke head into this game with a chance for back-to-back victories against playoff hopeful teams.
Saturday’s game was one of the best all-round team performances I have seen for some time and certainly this season. The effort and commitment the players put in was immense and although they rode their luck on one-or two occasions, for most part they looked in control throughout most of the game.
With this win we now sit in 17th spot, but only won loss outside the relegation spots.
The midfield looked secure with the returning Harry Pearse allowing Sam Deadfield are more open, free role, this allowed him to bring Sam Smart into the game. Smart will look to continue on his recent improving performances, and it was good to see him get on the goal-sheet with a superbly well taken goal.
The defence looked for the first time secure, blocked out a number of crosses, made timely tackles, but more importantly were first to anything that was put in our penalty area. Tom McGill looked good again and apart from the 93rd minute goal, looked like he had a clean sheet in the bag against one of the more potent offenses in the league. Being a bit biased, but Jack Wakely looked the player we hoped for, but Dean Stow, Jim Orvis and Rob Gerrard were also brilliant and played as we have hoped for a while.
Kian Duncan again showed a lot of promise and his build-up play with Stow & Smart had Weymouth struggling at times.
If the game is on Tuesday night, then all thoughts of Saturday need to be forgotten, but Martin Kuhl will finally know his players have the ability to hold most teams in this league on their day.
Also worryingly is the fact that If the game does go ahead then it is likely the pitch will cut-up bad for Saturday’s game at home to Staines Town.
Questions around Dan Bayliss & Charlie Kennedy injuries and when they are likely to return remain.
One or two fans turned the bookies over Saturday, so it will be interesting to see what odds Ian will get for this match-up.
Match Preview by Martin French