Match Preview: Dorchester Town vs Basingstoke Town – Saturday 11th November 2023

Match Preview: Southern League Premier South
Dorchester Town vs Basingstoke Town
When: Saturday 11th November 2023 Kick-off 3pm
Where: The Avenue Stadium, Weymouth Avenue, Dorchester, DT1 2RY
Dorchester Town (The Magpies), Avg 2023-24 Home Att 404

After back-to-back victories against Swindon Supermarine, firstly in the cup and then last Saturday’s 4-3 win in the league, we head back out on the road to an old foe in Dorchester Town.
The last time we played the Magpies in Dorchester was back in the old Southern League Premier South division in March 2019, on a day when we got beaten 4-1. In fact Dorchester scored all five, as a Magpie defender turned Sam Smart’s cross into his own net. Michael Atkinson was the only player that day, who currently plays for Stoke.

Our Opponents
The Magpies are managed by Tom Killick, who joined the club in late September, after a twenty-year stint at nearby Poole Town. He will be ably assisted by Glenn Howes, who both played for the Stoke in the late 90’s. Both had worked together previously at Salisbury & Poole Town.

The Magpies currently sit in the bottom half of the league in (17th) place, just two places above the relegation zone with a record of Pld 14 Won 3 Drawn 4 Lost 7, with a minus 13 goal difference, having scored nineteen goals, whilst conceding a hefty thirty-two goals.
They have not played a league game since the end of October, and that was a creditable one-one home draw against Hayes & Yeading Utd. Their leading goal-scorer is striker Shaquille Gwengwe with six league goals, however he has not found the net, since the beginning of September. Gwengwe, joined from AFC Totton in June 2022. More recently William Spetch, has been finding the net for the Magpies, but Spetch who actually scored against Dorchester whilst playing for Poole Town in August, is now finding the net as an attacking defender. Other forwards include Leighton Thomas, who has three league goals, and was previously at Paulton Rovers, before joining this season, having spent last season at Hungerford Town. Olaf Koszela has one league goal and joined the club in January 2022.

The midfield has seen one or two changes since Tom Killick’s arrival, and Jordan Barnett who had two goals, left the club last week. Alex Moyse, has also departed joining Willand Rovers. This leaves Jordan Ngalo, who joined in 2022, having had stints at Weymouth, AFC Totton & Aldershot Town. Jake Graziano is another midfielder likely to play.
As previously mentioned Will Spetch is new to the club, but having received a straight red card in their last league game against Hayes & Yeading, he will likely be absent tomorrow. In defence will therefore be Jack Dickson as one of the main stays, whilst defensive back Louis Slough, who joined the club in 2022 from Torquay Utd. Defensive back Ollie Haste is also likely to start, as well as Jordi Foot who played for locals sides Yeovil & Shaftesbury. The keeper’s gloves will be worn by Adam Forster who joined the club in October from Bath City.

Our Basingstoke Town Side
Following back-to-back wins against Swindon Supermarine, we are back on the road to an old foe in Dorchester Town. Manager Dan Brownlie, will go into this game, knowing that a number of his key starting players, will still be unavailable this weekend, and will look to jig his remaining squad players as per previous games.
Last Saturday’s rollercoaster four-three victory keeps us on the edge of the playoff places in sixth place, but knowing that we have played the most games in our league, with an overall record of Pld 17 Won 7 Drawn 3 Lost 7 GF 36 GA 38 with 24pts. As per last week our strikeforce will be the strongest area of our starting line-up and could be strengthened if attacking winger George Reid is able to rejoin the playing squad on its journey down to Dorset tomorrow.
A brace of goals by leading goalscorer Dan Rowe and the experienced Liam Ferdinand, who continues to impress since his recent arrival at the club, were the scorers in the league win against Swindon Supermarine. Rowe, who now has twelve goals on the season, will set-up next to Ferdinand and with Bradley Wilson who neatly set-up the winning fourth goal, will look at Dorchester’s porous defence and will aim to add to his eight goals on the season. Depending on how we set-up, Stefan Brown is also an option, whilst Paul Hodges is slowly returning to match fitness, but still likely a week away.

Once again Michael Atkinson will lead the team from his midfield role, whilst D’Andre Brown, will likely be alongside him. Our new Scarlet Pimpernel, “We play him here, We play him there”, James Clark, could be back in a midfield role tomorrow, after his impressive defensive performance last Saturday.

The defence still missing a number of regular starters, will hopefully have the return of Shane Hollamby to start alongside Nathan Smart in the centre-back roles, whilst Kai Hobbs and Markus Johnson-Schuster should remain in the defensive back roles.
Paul Strudley who made that stunning early save last week, should keep the goalkeeper gloves tomorrow.

Academy players Harvey Collins and Aleksander Kokoska, who have impressed recently will likely earn bench slots along with Josh De Lacey-Turner tomorrow.
The rumours, that I heard this morning that we had signed two Saints U21 players, has been confirmed and will join the playing squad tomorrow. Centre-Back Reggie Evans, could be contention of Shane Hollamby is unable to go. Centre-midfielder Josh Squires could well earn a start as well.

With both teams having jointly conceded seventy league goals, it is likely to be another high-scoring all-action game despite the expected rainy weather down in Dorset.

With it being the 11th November, Dorchester will be holding their Remembrance Day Service before the game. Please wear your poppy with pride tomorrow.

Match Preview by Martin French..