Match Preview: Bet Victor Division One South
Basingstoke Town v Thatcham Town
When: Tuesday 14th January 2020 Kick-off 7.45pm
Where: The Simplyhealth Ground, Hillier Way, Winchester. SO23 7SR
Thatcham Town (Nickname – The Kingfishers), Average 2019-20 Home Attendance 155
Well we head into this very tough match-up against league leaders Thatcham Town tomorrow night, on the back of our first away victory and best team performance of the season.
This game was originally scheduled for the beginning of November, but due to Thatcham’s involvement in the FA Trophy, we now face the Kingfishers who are flying high in the league with a seven-point lead.
Thatcham Town, will enter the match-up on the back of a four-game winning streak, which includes last Saturday’s 4-0 demolition of Willand Rovers in Devon. In fact the Kingfishers have only lost once this season, which was a surprising 1-3 home loss to Slimbridge in December.
Their overall record now sits at PLD 20 WON 16 DRAWN 3 LOST 1 GF 52 GA 18 PTS 51.
They are the highest scoring team in the league as well, averaging over 2.5 goals per game, whilst their defence has let in the least amount of goals averaging less than one goal per game.
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 14 league goals. Tooze, a big robust forward has vast non-league experience at clubs such as Paulton Rovers, Frome Town and Truro. He is backed-up by 27-year-old forward Felipe Barcelos with 13 goals.
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, I can start previewing our performance on the back of a well-deserved win against relegation battlers Barnstaple Town. This was a long-way for the players to travel, and get their minds set on this game and the pre-match talk in the dressing room, must have worked wonders, as we came out from the very first moment of the game, and took the game to Barnstaple and used the game conditions to our favour in the first half.
Not sure I want the same windy conditions for the Thatcham game, but both Ben Cook and Ryan Sucking produced some wicked corners, that had Barums defence and keeper at sixes and sevens for most of the first-half. An own goal and Dean Stow’s header were enough to bring home the three points. The second-half performance against the wind and poor pitch conditions was superb, and the whole team put a shift in that was clearly visible.
After Saturday’s win our league record stands at; PLD 20 Won 4 Drawn 3 Lost 13 GF 28 GA 56 with 15pts.
On the injury-front, defender Scott Armsworth, although fit is expected to miss out through illness, whilst niggling injuries from Saturday will mean a fitness test for defender Josh Edwards. Harrison Cliff who went off injured in the second-half Saturday, has been passed fit and will likely start.
One other note, is the goalkeeper situation, as Aaron Watkins, who missed the Barnstaple game, may well be back between the sticks tomorrow night. This position is a fluid situation and both keepers are likely to be rotated until a solidified Number 1 is settled on by Dan.
We started with a 5-3-2 formation two days ago, and this could be the set-up for a team who will look to attack us for 90 minutes.
This simply means we need the same effort that those small group of travelling fans saw then. It is clear it can be done, so it is important that we instil that same mindset from the kick-off.
This is a big game for both teams, for us to continue on our fight to lift us up the table, whilst Thatcham to put another stamp on the league title.
All those who are 50/50 on thinking of coming down for the game, please take the time and come down (weather permitting), and get behind your Basingstoke side tomorrow night. The players need your support in this tough match-up!
Match Preview by Martin French..