Match Preview: Basingstoke Town v Westfield Saturday 14th January 2023

Match Preview: Isthmian South Central Division
Basingstoke Town Vs Westfield
When: Saturday 14th January 2023 Kick-off 3pm
Where: Winklebury Stadium, Winklebury Way, Basingstoke. RG23 8BF
Westfield (Nickname – The Field), Avg 2022-23 Home Att 136
Admission Prices: Adults £10, Concessions £7, U16’s £3, U12’s £1 Match Programmes £2

Our eventual win at Bedfont last Saturday, now gives us back-to-back wins to start 2023 and pushed us up to third in the league, as we chase Walton & Hersham & Northwood who sit above us.
We now face Westfield at home this Saturday, knowing revenge for a 4-0 drubbing back in August, will be in our minds, to continue our promotion push.

Our Opponents
Westfield are managed by Simon Lane, who is in his third season at the club, having managed teams such as Wingate & Finchley and Northwood previously.
The Field have been in the top half of the table all season and currently sit in 9th place with a record of Pld 20 Won 8 Drawn 6 Lost 5 with 30pts, and head into this fixture following a one-one draw at home against an improving Leatherhead side.

Striker Troy Walters, leads the way with ten goals, eight in the league, having played for Barking & East Grinstead Town. They signed Florian Envoudou Ada mid-season and he has five goals on the season. Florian had played for North Greenford and more recently Hayes & Yeading Utd. Nathaniel Mensah, has seven goals having played for Guildford City and Tooting & Mitcham.

In midfield they made a splash signing Chertsey’s Andrew Crossley, who has been an integral part of the team this year, but has added just one goal so far. There is also Harry Carter, who rejoined the Field after spending time at clubs such as East Grinstead & Corinthian Casuals.

In the centre of defence will be ex Hampton & Richmond & AFC Wimbledon player David Amate, who is in his second season at the club. Another central defender is Luke Elliott, who has played for clubs such as Chipstead, Walton Casuals and Staines Town. With them will be 22 year-old Jonathan Sanchez who joined from Barking in August 2022. Jude Mason will likely be another defender in the mix.
In goal will be Sonny Wheeler who has played for a number of clubs including once for us which was the 8-0 shellacking we had at Frome Town.

Our Basingstoke Town Side
We left Bedfont Recreation ground with all three points last Saturday, after a late first-half finish by George Reid, and a second-half brace by Bradley Wilson. The three points as stated leaves us with a record of Pld 19 Won 12 Drawn 2 Lost 5 with 38 points, as we start the second-half game wise, of our league season.

Bradley Wilson’s double now gives him 21 goals on the season and increased his league leading tally to 17 goals. George Reid who also sits in the league’s leading goal-scoring table now has ten goals on the season. His determination to get to Bradley Wilson’s cross in front of his marker, gave us that all-important goal on the stroke of halftime. Who will start alongside Wilson could be up in the air as the club were looking to bring in another striker, whilst James Clark who has started the last two games, failed to impress the travelling fans last Saturday. Veteran Sam Argent was left on the sidelines, and could earn a start this Saturday. With Brody Peart now confirmed as remaining at the club, he made an immediate impact when he entered the game last Saturday, setting up Wilson for that vital third goal. Marcio Neves is always waiting in the wings as well as possibly Stefan Brown.

Simon Dunn will again lead the side from his midfield slot, whilst the influence of Michael Atkinson seems stronger every week and one fan, stated he’s a different gravy to the rest appears to ring true, as the season unfolds. Add Ben Cook, into the midfield mix, gives us a powerful strength in midfield, we were lacking at the start of the season. With D’Andre Brown on the bench, but pushing for a start each week, there is a strong group, especially when you add the possibility of Anton Rodgers & Lewis Hayden in the future.

The defence saw the much-awaited return of Scott Armsworth, only to the detriment of Billy Upton, who hobbled off last week, and is likely out at least this weekend. This means Scott will team up with Nathan Smart in the centre-back roles. On the right should still be Markus Johnson-Schuster although Ben Mason’s return is imminent, which gives Dan Brownlie more options, but more challenges as similar to the left-back role. Callum Winchcombe has held onto this slot, but again James Haworth pushes for that role on the left. Dan Williamson & Aiden Lewis continue to push for a slot, but are likely options on the bench.
Mark Scott is now fully fit and should be in the No.1 shirt this Saturday, whilst Paul Strudley has been an experienced back-up in his absence.

As always trying to predict the starting line-up is quite difficult, especially if the possible new striker is confirmed, as Manager Dan Brownlie, tries to keep all his squad happy.

The weather may not be the best tomorrow, but it is hoped that a reasonable sized crowd will make their way down to Winklebury to hopefully see Stoke continue on their winning ways in 2023.

Match Preview by Martin French..