Match Preview: Basingstoke Town v Thatcham Town Tuesday 10th March 2020

Match Preview: Bet Victor Division One South

Basingstoke Town v Thatcham Town

When: Tuesday 10th March 2020 Kick-off 7.45pm

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

Thatcham Town (Nickname – The Kingfishers), Average 2019-20 Home Attendance 171

Well we head into this very tough match-up against league leaders Thatcham Town tomorrow night,

following the 1-1 draw at home to Willand Rovers, where we were the better team and deserved all three points.

This game has now been rescheduled twice and if it beats a pitch inspection, then it means we will face Thatcham twice in the space of ten days. Our first match-up saw us go behind after 15 seconds and go on and get thumped 8-0. The performance was simply not good enough, and a much better p will be expected by our home crowd.

Thatcham Town, will enter the match-up on the back of a two-game, twelve goals, with two clean sheets, as they left the outskirts of Bristol with a four nil win at Mangotsfield.

They currently sit in first place on goal difference over Frome Town.

Their overall record now sits at PLD 27 WON 18 DRAWN 4 LOST 5 GF 66 GA 28 PTS 58.

They are the highest scoring team in the league as well, averaging approximately 2.5 goals per game, whilst their defence allows roughly one goal per game.

Their away record now sits at 8 Wins, 3 Draws and 2 Losses. Both of these losses came last month against promotion chasers Frome Town and Larkhall Athletic.

With that number of goals scored, they will of course have players who have scored a number of goals, and starting with 29-year-old experienced Kyle Tooze who has 15 league goals. Tooze, a big robust forward has vast non-league experience at clubs such as Paulton Rovers, Frome Town and Truro, however, he will be serving the third of his three match ban. He is more than backed-up by 27-year-old forward Felipe Barcelos who after scoring two goals against us and one goal last Saturday, now has 16 goals on the season.

In an effort to secure promotion they also signed Mangotsfield’s striker James Ollis, who got two of the goals against us.

In defence they have ex-Stokie Matt Partridge, with three goals, whilst midfielder George Jeacock has four.

They also have well-known 37 year-old Paul Strudley, between the sticks for them.

They are managed by Danny Robinson who joined them back in 2015, and he has raised the profile of the club since joining them, including winning the FA Vase trophy in 2018.

As for your Basingstoke side, we can take a lot from our hard-working performance on a very heavy Winchester pitch, and new signee Connor Lynch gave us a new dimension upfront that we have been missing all-season. His power, aggression and go for goal attitude showed on Saturday and his equalising goal was a mirror of that style of play. The fact he had a goal disallowed and a shot kicked off the line in the first-half, and then went close in another breakaway in the second-half, bodes well for the rest of the season. Many Stoke fans will be looking for him and George Hallahan to forge a striking partnership that will net us a few goals in our final 11 games.

If the game goes ahead, our midfield and defence will have to battle under extremely muddy and sandy conditions, and an effort put in last Saturday, will be needed tomorrow night.

We still sit in 19th place with a record of PLD 27 Won 5 Drawn 4 Lost 18 GF 34 GA 76 with 18pts.

Our home record sits at 4 Wins, 2 Draws, and 7 Losses.

On the injury-front, midfielder Simon Dunn went off injured last Saturday, and I’m not sure if he will be available for the Thatcham game. The question would be, do we rest him for Saturday’s more important trip to Bristol Manor Farm?

In midfield we had some hard-working performances from Harrison Cliff, D’Andre Brown and Ben Cook. They were backed-up by Claudio Herbert who covered an awful lot of ground, when he seemed to forget what position he was actually playing.

Defensively, apart from another poor goal given away, we kept Willand Rovers at bay for most of the game.

If the pitch passes whatever pitch inspection’s required, we know this is a tough, tough match-up, but one we need to throw everything at Thatcham. Your vocal support will be very much needed.

Match Preview by Martin French..