Match Preview: Basingstoke Town v Sholing Tuesday 6th October 2020

Match Preview: Bet Victor Division One South

Basingstoke Town  v  Sholing

When: Tuesday 6th October 2020 Kick-off 7.45pm

Where:  The Simplyhealth Ground, Hillier Way, Winchester, Hants. SO23 7SR

Sholing (Nickname –  The Boatmen), Average 2019-20 Home Attendance 159

Basingstoke finally head home, well down to Winchester anyway, for our first league home game of the season, as we take on Sholing who did the double over us in 2019-20.

Last season, we played them down on the outskirts of Southampton in our first away game of the season and came away 2-0 losers on what was a fairly average performance that we created  chances but yet did everything but put them away. The home tie at the beginning of January was more probably one of our most embarrassing performances of the season, as we trailed by just the two within 15 minutes, and despite Dean Stow halving the score, Sholing added another two more before halftime and we trailed 1-4. The second-half saw us somehow only concede just two further goals and the final 1-6 result, was on the back of a 5-1 thumping against Winchester City.

Our visitors Sholing are managed by Dave Diaper who has been in charge since 1999 and covered over 1,100 games. The Boatmen have gotten off to a similar good start like us, and currently sit in 5th place with a record of PLD 3 Won 2 Drawn 0 Lost 1 GF 6 GA 4 with 6pts

They started the season like us on the road winning 3-0 at Evesham Utd with ex-Stoke midfielder Claudio Herbert getting the first, Daniel Mason and Stuart Green adding the others. Sholing then surprisingly lost at home to Slimbridge 0-2 and then last Saturday they got a 92 minute winner in a 3-2 home win against Highworth Town. A brace by Stuart Green and a goal by Prince McLean was their scoring on the day.

As for the FA Cup, they are riding high after narrowly beating both Bemerton Heath Harlequins 0-1 and Fairford Town 1-2, they beat Saltash Utd last Saturday 1-3 again on the road to reach the 3rd qualifying round, where they have been drawn a home-tie against Walton Casuals.

Looking at their squad, it contains two sets of brothers, Byron and Dan Mason, and Marv and PJ McLean. Both Byron and Marv have made over 600 appearances for the Boatmen.

Forwards Dan Mason (28) and Stuart Green (30), head their attack and have already connected for  of their six league goals. Last season Mason ended with 64 goals in all competitions last season, whilst Green who only joined in October last season added 12 goals.

They are ably supported by 19 year-old Bradley Targett, who scored 34 goals in all the numerous competitions they play in.

Obviously as mentioned they picked-up 27 year-old midfielder Claudio Herbert from us after he was released back in August. So I expect he will be out gunning for us, on the pitch he is all too well-familiar with.

Ryan Gosney (20) will be their keeper and has played over 250 times for the Boatmen.

Last season they finished in a comfortable 10th place with a final record of PLD 27 W 5 D 1 L 21 GF 26 GA 74 16 Pts

To our unbeaten Basingstoke Town team, let’s hope I can say that for some time to come, as we host Sholing who sit two places below, so both will be confident pre-match for a right result.

The Barnstaple game proved that despite taking all sort of set-backs, the goal, George Hallahan’s injury and then the dodgy red card incident, we were more than capable to come back twice and pick-up a hard-earned point.

Yes, we missed the penalty opportunity, but that would have prevented us from scoring that lovely diving header by Scott Armsworth.

What is surprising is that Bradley Wilson still somehow hasn’t got his league goal-scoring campaign up and running yet. His contribution to the team however has been massive and no doubt more will be expected from him tomorrow night.

Assuming George Hallahan has recovered for the game, and will likely lead the line, otherwise Dylan Ive could be set for his first start of the season.

The midfield of Captain Lewis Hayden, Ben Cook, McKoy Palmer and George Reid, put in a huge effort, which was much needed, especially when we down to ten men.

Hayden moved into the back four for a while after Jeffords sending off and along with the rest of the back four made some much-needed and timely tackles.

Centre-back Scott continues to impress fans this season, and clearly his confidence is sky-high and looks everything many Stoke fans were hoping for.

Will Simon Dunn be available for this game, who knows, but I saw him last week and he looks close to returning and is raring to get back in the team (if of course we can find him a spot),

As usual in our league, goals are the watch-word with us averaging over three, whilst Sholing average two.

Like all teams, we are carrying a few knocks, so it will be interesting to see what line-up Dan Brownlie announces, but we know we have speed in abundance and Sholing will have to deal with that for 90 minutes.

Despite all the recent rain, the pitch should be perfectly ready for should be a big test for your Stoke team, but a clear indicator that we can turn in performance after performance home or away.

Match Preview by Martin French..