Match Preview: Evo Stick South Premier Division South
Basingstoke Town v Weymouth
When: Saturday 3rd November 2018
Where: The Camrose, Basingstoke, RG22 6EZ
This Saturday’s we are back to Southern League action, as we entertain league leaders Weymouth to the Camrose.
Following our recent wins against Staines Town (0-3 League win), and Wimborne ( 4-2 FA Trophy), this will be a true test for the recently enlarged Basingstoke Town squad and a chance for Jason Bristow to pit his wits against a Weymouth team that are riding 3 pts clear at the top of the table and who have been beaten just once this season and that was over two months ago.
So, what about Weymouth? Not only are they the league leaders, they have also scored more goals in the league than anyone else, a total of 32 goals, their goal difference of +17 is also best in the league. After 12 games their record stands as 8 Wins, 3 Draws and 1 Loss and 27pts.
However, in recent weeks their have shown a touch of hard-earned wins rather than the thrashing’s they handed out earlier in the season.
Following big wins of 0-5 at Chesham, 5-0 at home to Dorchester and a 1-4 win at Staines, their past four league games have resulted in 3 odd goal victories and a draw at Swindon Supermarine.
Like us, they are still in the FA Trophy after winning 1-3 at Taunton Town last Saturday, and they now host Street in the next round.
They do host the joint-top league scorer in 24yr-old striker Brandon Goodship with 11 goals, whose past clubs feature AFC Bournemouth & Yeovil Town. Those two clubs seem to feature across a fair number of players in their squad, including 32yr-old defender Stephane Zubar, who has 7 goals, 5 of those coming in the league. They have also scored goals through fellow striker Ben Thomson (4) and midfielders Abdulai Baggie (4), and Josh Wakefield (3) goals a piece.
Their forward line produces their goals with ex-Poole Town duo Toby Holmes & Luke Burbidge with 7 & 3 goals respectively. The Magpies other forward Jack Lovell who was one of the scorers against us back in September has 2 goals. In midfield they have Franklyn Clarke who has found the back of the net 3 times in the last four games.
Defensively, apart from the big lop-sided wins mentioned earlier, they rarely keep a clean sheet, so hopefully there is a chink in their armour at the back.
Our recent record against Weymouth isn’t great, last season throwing away one of our better performances on the road 3-2 after leading with just 6 minutes to go and then conceding an injury time dodgy penalty, which sent us fans home far from happy on the 85 mile journey home.
The return match at the Camrose six weeks later was yet another goal-fest ending 3-3, this one we led 3-1 and threw it away, and surprise, surprise conceding another injury-time goal.
With Jason’s squad enlarged by the arrival of two Reading City players Rob Gerrard and forward Mitchell Parker both vying for starting spots on Saturday afternoon. Gerrard, is almost certainly to start after his impressive debut last Saturday, but Parker will have to fight off Wright and possibly Bunting to get a start. He may be the perfect fit to come off the bench if needed?
What is certain, is that we need to try and win the midfield battle from the start and I hope Charlie Kennedy can continue on his good performance last week. Will Dan Collier get a start and if so, who will he replace? We do have many options, dependant on what formation we start with.
I am hoping that both Jack McKnight & Sam Argent can continue on their goal streaks and we may need a really big performance from winger Sam Smart
Defensively, we lack height with DeMuria gone and this must be a concern to the Manager, as we have conceded way too many goals from corners and crosses this season.
Whatever happens, I expect there to be goals, probably numerous! Neither team does 0-0!
For all those fans who missed last week’s win, the weather is expected to be dry and sunny, so come on down to the Camrose this Saturday and get behind the Boys.
Odds please on Friday.
Match Preview by Martin French