Match Preview: Bet Victor Division One South
Evesham Utd v Basingstoke Town
When: Saturday 14th December 2019 Kick-off 3pm
Where: The Jubilee Stadium, Cheltenham Road, Evesham, Worcs. WR11 2RS
Evesham Utd (Nickname – The Robins), Average 2019-20 Home Attendance 223
Another long trip this time to Worcestershire, as we take on another Robins nicknamed club, this time playoff hopefuls Evesham Utd.
However, at least this Saturday, we head there after a much better all-round and three points from last week’s defeat of Bideford.
Evesham still in the playoff places, will want to return to winning ways after a humiliating 4-1 loss at lowly Moneyfields last Saturday. But if we were going to play them, then now might be the right time, as their last four league results have been Loss, Drawn, Loss, Loss. Three of those games were on the road against Moneyfields, Bideford and AFC Totton, all at the bottom. The other a home loss against Thatcham Town.
Despite this recent poor run, they still sit in fifth place, with an overall league record of PLD 16 WON 7 DRAWN 4 LOST 5 GF 32 GA 27 PTS 25.
Evesham’s home record is decent with four wins, two draws and just one loss (Thatcham Town), so they will have plenty of confidence in playing us at Jubilee Stadium.
Evesham are managed by Carl Abbott, who previously managed Midland League club Quorn, and Hinckley AFC. However, of more interest is one of his coaches Simon (Johnno) Johnson, who played for Leeds United under David O’Leary, Terry Venables and Eddie Gray, including playing in a Champions League semi-final leg. He also had spells at Sunderland, Hull City, Blackpool, Doncaster Rovers, Darlington and Hereford.
Their leading goal-scorer is 34-year-old forward, Lee Chilton who has amassed nine league goals. Chilton, who has a wealth of Non-League experience at clubs such as Alvechurch, Leamington and Stourbridge is the glue to the team. He has been recently supported by new signing forward Paul Sullivan who has added five goals. Chilton will also be returning from a three-game suspension, for his red card for dangerous play in the Thatcham game.
Having seen a recent match video, they will again be a much older team, but look a little slow at the back.
Looking at your Basingstoke Town team, we head into this week’s match-up, on the back of a more hard-working effort that produced three first-half quality finishes. The return of Aaron Kuhl clearly allowed the other more attacking midfielders move forward and against a poor Bideford team, the first half saw us attacking at will. Two quality finishes by forward Ben Wright and Bradley Wilson’s first goal for Stoke was in the end just enough, but after a commanding halftime lead, we failed to put the game away early in the second-half, which then allowed that late fightback by Bideford.
Even with that win we still remain in 19th place, as others results at the bottom did not help us. We now have an overall record of PLD 15 Won 3 Drawn 3 Lost 9 GF 21 GA 39 with 12pts.
It will be interesting to see how Dan Brownlie, sets-up for this match, as our away record, just two draws and four goals, out of seven matches, must factor into that decision.
Goals, goals, goals, are still the most important factor in this league and hopefully last week’s tally won’t be a one-off. We simply must take our chances when they come this Saturday and scoring that first goal is critical for our overall team confidence.
As I write this preview, I am not aware of any confirmed injuries, although Dean Stow did not train on Tuesday due to a bad neck.
The return of D’Andre Brown’s return to the starting line-up was met with a good performance by him.
As for the defence, it will be boosted by the loan return of right-back and Basingstoke boy Alfie Saunders, which likely pushes Aiden Harris back to the bench after a strong performance last week. Alfie’s return will also give us a bit more pace at the back.
Depending on why Claudio Herbert was absent last week, and whether Aaron Kuhl is available will depend on how we line-up in midfield. Both Jordan Edwards and D’Andre Brown played well enough to earn starting places, but both Riccardo Andrady and Harrison Cliff are also in contention of a start.
In attack we have Ben Wright and Bradley Wilson, who will look to increase their goal-scoring tallies.
Whatever the weather and pitch conditions this Saturday, if we can turn in a first-half performance, like last and battle for 90 minutes then we should be looking to leave Evesham with at least a point.
Match Preview by Martin French..