Match Preview: Chertsey Town v Basingstoke Town Wednesday 27th April 2022 (Semi-Final Playoff)

Match Preview: Isthmian League South Central Division Semi-Final Playoff
Chertsey Town Vs Basingstoke Town
When: Wednesday 27th April 2022 Kick-off 7.45pm
Where:. Alwyns Lane, Chertsey, KT16 9DW
Chertsey Town (Nickname – The Curlews), Average 2021-22 Home Attendance 414
Online Ticket Prices: Adults £9, Concessions £6 Under 16’s £2
At Turnstiles: Adults £10, Concessions £7 Under 16’s £2

Another comfortable if not dominating performance on the grass pitch at Chalfont St Peter saw us deservedly finish in fifth place in the league and a playoff match at second place Chertsey Town tomorrow evening.
Our record this season against the Curlews was not the best as we lost 5-1 at home back in November, however an understrength Stoke side battled for a deserved nil-nil draw back In February, where we had a couple of late chances to nick all three points, gives us hope as we travel back upto Surrey for this all or nothing one game playoff.

Our Opponents
The Curfews who are managed by ex-Arsenal footballer Ian Selley, finished in second place with a final record of PLD 36 Won 23 Drawn 7 Lost 6 GF 81 GA 40 PTS 76. They finished their season with a five-nil demolition of Thatcham Town and were unbeaten on the road all-season long. Their home record however was not so good with nine wins, 3 draws and six losses.

Their strike-force is led by ex-Hartley Wintney forward 32 year-old Jake Baxter who now has 27 goals. Alongside him is 24-year-old Magnus Abisogun, who was at Woking’s before moving to Cobham, then Redhill. Gary has 19 goals, this season. Another striker is Brian Taylor with six goals. There is also ex-Farnborough forward Connor Cullen as well.

The midfield has another experienced player in Ashley Lodge with ten goals. Lodge, joined from Staines Town, and has previously played for Egham Town, Ashford Town and Hayes & Yeading. Attacking midfielder Andrew Crossley who has over 300 appearances for Chertsey, has eight goals this season. Ex-Uxbridge midfielder Mark Bitmead has six goals on the season. There is also ex-Chelsea youth player Sam Hurrell.

In defence is 24 year-old Daryl Harrison who will be one of the starting centre backs. Harrison played for Barton Rovers, before joining from Ashford Town last season.
One of the full-back roles will be filled by Manolis Gogonas Ex-Stoke veteran centre-half Jay Gasson has been recently on the bench, but could be brought back for this game.
In goal will be Nick Jupp (31), who temporarily retired before joining the Curfews in the 2019-20 season, having played for clubs such as Aldershot Town, Barnet and St Albans City.
Chertsey are a very experienced side and will be look to attack us from the outset.

Your Basingstoke Town Side
Another away performance that delivered what was needed as although it took us some time to break the deadlock, there was only one team likely to win, and although it took a late second goal to confirm the three points. Our final standings stood at PLD 36 Won 21 Drawn 7 Lost 8 GF 65 GA 49 Pts 70

With both Stefan Brown (suspended) and Bradley Wilson (injured), missing tomorrow’s game, it leaves the likely duo of Conor Lynch & young Brody Peart to lead the forward line. Lynch yet once more added to his season total, which now stands at 27 goals and will look to add to that tomorrow. Peart has now slipped into a starting role in recent weeks and brings a youthful energetic approach to his play on the right.

The midfield will be led by captain Simon Dunn, who broke the deadlock last Saturday and was at his best in that important game. Assuming McKoy Palmer plays on the left, it leaves the other two midfield roles to be filled by either Ben Cook, D’Andre Brown, or the possible starting role for Anton Rodgers. Marcio Magalhaes-Nevez yet again looks like he be will once more be one of the first change options, as he brings a unique attacking ability when the team needs freshening up. Lloyd Snell who was absent last week with a minor injury, could also be added to the starting squad.

The back four who rarely looked under pressure is likely to stay the same, this Dan Williamson will fill the right back role, whilst James Haworth will once again patrol the left side. The centre-back pairing unless something has changed will stay as Nathan Smart & Rob Sheridan, leaving fit again Daryl Wollers as a nice option of the bench. Aiden Lewis who was not in the squad Saturday, may be added to the bench also.
Keeper Paul Strudley will be the ever reliable man wearing the goalkeeper gloves for this important match-up.

For those many expected Basingstoke fans expected to make the trip up tomorrow night, the favourites are clearly Chertsey, but we did gain a point their just two months ago, and we have nothing to lose, so we will go all-out to continue our season with a win. Could the youth of Brody & Marcio be the difference on the night.

Match Preview by Martin French.