Match Preview: Bet Victor Division One South
Highworth Town v Basingstoke Town
When: Saturday 1st February 2020 Kick-off 3pm
Where: The Elms Recreation Ground, Highworth, Swindon, Wilts. SN6 7DD
Highworth Town (Nickname – The Worthians), Average 2019-20 Home Attendance 132
We face one of the few teams we have beaten this season, as we head into Wiltshire to face Highworth Town.
The game at Winchester back in early October was a game of two halves, as we went into the break two down, but the game was then turned on its head on 74 minutes, as a cross from the right was fluffed by the keeper, who dropped the ball back into his own net after jumping into Ben Wright.
An equaliser by Harrison Cliff and then a 90th minute winner by Zach Robinson, was enough to give us the 3-2 win.
Since then Highworth have maintained their mid-table position and currently sit in 13th place with an overall record of PLD 22 WON 7 DRAWN 5 LOST 10 GF 27 GA 32 PTS 26.
If there was ever a time to play Highworth then now is the time, as they have picked up just five points from there last 8 games, and scored only just five times in those same eight games. Having scored one goal less than us (27) this season, and have lost their last two games.
The Worthians have a home record of 4 wins and 7 losses, which is a worse home record than us. Their leading goal-scorers are forward Jacob Davidge and midfielder Edjidja Mbunga (Wally, do you remember), who both have six league goals.
In the centre of defence they have ex-Stoke player Ross Adams.
Jeff Roberts was removed as Manager of Highworth at the ned of December and has been replaced by John Fisher with assistance of Ross Adams.
Highworth were clearly unhappy with losing to us back in October, and will be out looking for revenge against a team seven places below them.
As for our Basingstoke side, we sat idle last week, well more like sat in the Cinderford clubhouse awaiting whether the game would go ahead on a fog-bound pitch. The initial delay to 3.15pm and then 3.30pm and then the postponement was met with a little cheer ‘How XXXX must you be, we kept a clean sheet’ from a couple of our fans, as we waited for the players before we headed back home. Cinderford fans who were still there took it quite amusingly.
With our point finally deducted, we moved back to the bottom of the league with the record now looking as PLD 21 Won 4 Drawn 3 Lost 14 GF 28 GA 58 – pts 1 total 14pts, and with 17 games remaining, a win this Saturday would be a perfect start.
On the injury front, with Dean Stow playing in the friendly on Tuesday, he will slot back into the squad, but possibly and hopefully in a more midfield role, which he played successfully a couple of times last season.
Rumours of an incoming ex-Stoke forward are still to be confirmed, but expect him in a Stoke shirt this Saturday, if even on the bench.
The week off also allowed one or two players with niggling injuries or illnesses to recover, so I am expecting a strong squad to travel to the outskirts of Swindon.
With the fact that both teams are not prolific scorers, this game could be a close one, so we simply need to take the chances when they come along.
With it being just a 48 mile journey to Highworth, I am hoping a decent Basingstoke following will travel to the game.
Please also note to those fans who like to stand down the side, this is a three-sided ground, as one side is fenced off.
Not going to mention the weather, but it is February!
Match Preview by Martin French..