Match Preview: Isthmian League South Central Division
Northwood v Basingstoke Town
When: Tuesday 19th October 2021 Kick-off 7.45pm
Where: AcreTweed Stadium, Chestnut Avenue, Northwood, Middlesex. HA6 1HR
Northwood (Nickname – The Woods), Average 2021-22 Home Attendance 109
Admission Prices: Adults £10, Concessions £5 Under 16’s FREE
Well after sitting idle for the past ten days since our FA Trophy loss to Melksham, we return to league action and a visit to North-West London to take on Northwood a team we haven’t faced for a number of years.
Middlesex-based Northwood are Manged by Ben Murray and having started the league season with a 1-1 draw at Thatcham Town, things have gone downhill for the Woods. They then lost 0-3 at home to what is a much improved Binfield side, before losing 2-1 at Hanwell Town. Their one win of the season came against then bottom-placed Staines Town and a 5-0 home thrashing, gave them hope, and a good performance at Marlow going down by the only goal seemed to change their fortunes.
However, after the Marlow, things have gone awry, as they lost 7-1 at home to league leaders Uxbridge, which was then followed by another 7-3 loss at Tooting & Mitcham Utd. Then last Saturday a loss to lowly Sutton Common Rovers at home 2-3 means the Woods currently sit, just two places off the bottom in 17th place, with a league record of Played 8 Won 1 Drawn 1 Loss 6 GF 13 GA 24 PTS 4.
In the cups they like us progressed through the first round of the FA Cup, beating Burnham via a replay, before losing in the 1st qualifying round 2-3 at home to Chichester City.
However, in the FA Trophy unlike us, whilst we were losing at Melksham they proceeded via a penalty shoot-out against Haywards Heath Town.
With 20 goals, 13 in the league, these have come from 25 year-old striker Shakeel Morris with seven goals (five in the league), and 34 year-old experienced striker Ishmael Ehui back for his third spell at the club who has two. Ishmael is joined by his 29 year-old brother Joakim, also back for his third spell who has one and FAB Academy product Leo Decabo (20), who has two goals.
In midfield they have another set of brothers Abz & Mo Sahnoun, who are both 20 and both play on the wing. They also have another FAB academy product in 20 year-old Sam Coles in midfield.
Their defence includes ex-Stoke player Arnold Linturn, alongwith 22 year-old Colombian Juan Pablo Gonzalez Velasco who played for both Brentford & Tottenham youth sides, plus 20 year-old Aaron Petch.
In goal it is likely to be 24-year-old Montel Joseph, yet another player who keeps returning to the club, but has played for both Wembley & Barking recently.
Your Basingstoke Town Side
Having been knocked out of the FA Trophy, we have had ten days to rest and recuperate our squad for the league battle ahead.
We enter this match now sitting in 6th spot just outside the playoff spots with us still unbeaten, at PLD 5 Won 4 Drawn 1 Lost 0 GF 10 GA 6 Points 13
The positives from the last game, was yet another goal from Conor Lynch in a move that cut open the Melksham defence, involving Bradley Wilson & D’Andre Brown. In fact Bradley Wilson in many fans view had his best game of the season and was possibly the teams player of the game. His assist in the first goal, was backed-up by his volleyed finish that brought us back in the game midway through the second-half.
It is therefore likely that the Lynch, Wilson and McKoy Palmer attack will be starting Tuesday evening, especially if George Reid is still unavailable to play.
In midfield, it is expected that the captaincy role will be handed back to Simon Dunn, who is expected to return after missing out at Melksham. Ben Cook will again do some of the donkey work, which should allow D’Andre Brown to push forward as he has done in recent matches.
It is assumed Anton Rodgers will be fit and will be involved in the starting line-up somewhere, whilst Lloyd Snell may likely be available off the bench.
In defence it is expected that Daryl Wollers will lead the back, and unless Scott Armsworth or emergency signing Gareth Thomas extends his stay, the back four will be supplanted by Daniel Williamson & Aiden Lewis, whilst it is unclear if left-back James Haworth, who seemed to pick-up a knock at Melksham will be fit to return.
In goal Paul Strudley remains your No,1 and despite the three goals at Melksham, pulled off some fine saves in the game.
With Adam Everiss now up the road at Ascot, plus the possibility of other academy players being out on season-long loans, it will be interesting on who will be sitting on the bench in the dugout Tuesday evening.
With a good performance and some solid defending, it is hoped we can extend our unbeaten start and three points would be a good start to a tough, but winnable few weeks ahead.
Match Preview by Martin French..