Match Preview: Basingstoke Town vs Horndean FC – Hampshire Snr Cup 3rd Round – Tuesday 14th November 2023

Match Preview: Hampshire Snr Cup 3rd Round
Basingstoke Town vs Horndean FC
When: Tuesday 14th November 2023 Kick-off 7.45pm
Where: Winklebury Sports Centre, Winklebury Way, Basingstoke. RG23 8BF
Horndean Fc (Nickname – The Deans), Avg 2023-24 Home Att 161
With our defeat at Dorchester in the league, we now have the first of two important cup matches, with the first being tonight’s Hampshire Snr Cup game at home versus Isthmian South East Division club Horndean.
Basingstoke enter tonight’s game following our second round 2-1 win at Alresford Town, which included an opening headed goal by James Clark, and that late neatly finished winner by Bradley Wilson.

Our Opponents
Horndean FC, are based within their own small village located on the outskirts of Havant & Waterlooville, and are Managed by Michael Birmingham, who managed them to the Wessex League Premier title last season, which promoted them into step four’s Isthmian League South-East Division
The Deans beat Fleetlands on the road one-nil in the second round, and currently sit in seventeenth out of twenty teams in the league. Their record sits at Pld 11 Won 2 Drawn 2 Lost 7 with 8pts. They have scored twelve goals, whilst conceding twenty-five and enter tonight’s competition having lost their last three league games, without scoring a goal, which includes last Saturday’s four-nil home loss to Hythe Town, who we beat 3-1 in a pre-season friendly.

There’s little information around their squad, but their two leading goal-scorers are striker Zack Willett with eight goals on the season, and over fifty goals for the club in just over two seasons with the club, after joining from Hampshire club side Paulsgrove. Attacking midfielder Tommy Scutt, a former Portsmouth academy player has seven goals and is also their penalty taker.

Our Basingstoke Town Side
Last weekend’s league loss at Dorchester saw our squad continue to be ravaged by injury, and with the understanding that Saturday’s FA Trophy game is the bigger of the two cup games to be played this week, Manager Dan Brownlie may well have to temper his desire, even as Hampshire Snr Cup holders, to go all out to win tonight’s game This means a number of academy players will earn starting roles tonight, whilst others are likely to win gametime off the bench.
Firstly, it was great to see the return of Paul Hodges who played the last forty minutes of the Dorchester game, after so short of a time since what looked like a horrific injury at the Hayes & Yeading league game. Whether he is available tonight, or we rest him for Saturday’s more important FA Trophy game at Chippenham, will be one of numerous decisions Dan and his staff will need to make. Our leading goalscorer Dan Rowe, who picked up a knock at Dorchester will miss tonight’s game in the hope he can make Saturday’s trip to Chippenham. This still likely gives us a formidable front two of Bradley Wilson & Liam Ferdinand. Wilson, will be looking to add to his eight goals on the season, whilst Ferdinand who has found the net four times in four games since his arrival, will surely look to take advantage of Horndeans defence. With no clear update I will assume that both George Reid & Stefan Brown won’t be available tonight either. Noah Chengun is likely to play an important role off the bench.

Another decision in midfield will be made on who leads the team out, as Michael Atkinson may be rested or at least an option if needed off the bench, which would give local boy D’Andre Brown the armband once again. The rest of the midfield slots are likely to be up-and-coming academy player, Aleksander Kokoska, who has shown glimpses of quality, when on the pitch and Southampton loanee Joshua Squires, if not cup-tied. Whilst Joshua De Lacy-Turner, may be another option off the bench.

The defence will likely see three of the four who played Saturday, with Kai Hobbs & Markus Johnson-Schuster in the defensive back roles, whilst Nathan Smart may well see a new partner at centre-back with young Jake Impiazzi earning a start here. Reggie Evans the other Southampton U21 loanee looks to be absent after picking up a knock Saturday. Shane Hollamby’s injury will mean he is likely to be absent tonight as well.
Without the understanding of Mark Scott’s injury-status, we will assume that the reliable Paul Strudley will be wearing the keeper’s gloves tonight.

With us being Hampshire Snr Cup holders, our players will put in every effort to progress into the last eight of the cup, and will need your full support behind them tonight.

At halftime the Supporters Club will be presenting the October “Player of the Month” award on the pitch, so another reason to come along and see who has won this month’s award.

Hope to see as many of you tonight as possible and let’s bring the noise.

Match Preview by Martin French..