Match Preview: Isthmian South Central Division
South Park Reigate Vs Basingstoke Town
When: Saturday 26th November 2022 Kick-off 3pm
Where: Whitehall Lane, Reigate, Surrey RH2 8LG
South Park (Nickname – The Sparks), Avg 2022-23 Home Att 118
Admission Prices: Unknown at this time.
A battling win at home to Tooting & Mitcham Utd last Saturday, saw us move back into the playoff places as we face another team who will challenge us on all fronts tomorrow.
Our match-ups last season saw us pick-up all six points as a one-nil win at Whitehall Lane, was then backed up by a close 3-2 home win last April, with a brace of Conor Lynch and a goal by McKoy Palmer, were enough on the day.
The Sparks are, or were managed by Harrison Williams, who had joined them just ten months ago from nearby Redhill, before yesterday, suddenly upping sticks and moving to fellow league side Bedfont Sports.
With South Park’s new 3G pitch being laid, they played their first six league games away from Whitehall Lane and after 14 games, currently sit in seventh place, three places and one point behind us with a good home record of four wins and just one loss, which was the last time out at home to Hanworth Villa 2-1.
With just seventeen league goals on the season, they are the lowest scorers in the top half of the league. Their leading goalscorer is Aiden Bowen who has nine goals, seven in the league and was a prolific goalscorer for manager Williams at Redhill. He has played for a number of clubs, more recently at Guildford City. Next to him will be Mario Quiassaca, who has three goals, whilst young Ethan Ford has two goals, having joined from Horley.
In midfield they have Craig McGee, who has two goals, and was from the Sutton Utd academy, and has played for Leatherhead and Merstham. With him will be Seanan McKillop who is regarded as a strong no-nonsense player from Raynes Park. There is also Brendan Murphy-McVey, who has played for some step 2 clubs and has played against us for whilst at Sutton Common Rovers. They also have Ryan Healy with two goals, who has also played in that triangle of football clubs Sutton Common Rovers & Merstham.
In defence they have ex-Three Bridges defender in centre-back Matthew Faithorn. Joe Bell, Down the left could be Seth Owens, who has played for a number of clubs at higher levels including AFC Wimbledon & Farnborough, and has spent some time at Leatherhead last season. James McElligott is another player who can play both midfield or defence and has played for Horsham and is back for his second spell at South Park.
In goal will be Zak Basey, who won the keepers role towards the end of last season from Mo Otuyo, who was Merstham’s keeper two weeks ago.
Our Basingstoke Town Side
Following last week’s win against Tooting & Mitcham, we head back out on the road to South Park, with a three game unbeaten league run in tow. We now sit in fourth place with an overall record of 8 wins, 2 draws and 4 losses, with an identical home and away record, with 13 out of 21 points on the road, the last away result the 5-1 win at Merstham.
With rumours that young Ezio Touray may have left the club, IF this is true, the strike-force will likely be led by Bradley Wilson, who is now providing the all-round performance, that fans have been waiting for as he now adds goals to his other attributes of his game. Wilson now sits on twelve goals as does Touray. Alongside him should be Sam Argent, who is now starting to provide us with some aerial threat that has been missing for some time. Stefan Brown played his first full 90 minutes, and set-up Wilson for that all important third goal last Saturday. With George Reid expected to miss out this week through injury, and Marcio Neves away this weekend, the emergence of young talented Brody Peart last weekend and the overall midfield concerns, it will be interesting in what formation we set-up for this important game.
The midfield saw the surprising return of captain Simon Dunn against Tooting & Mitcham, and it is hoped that he will be ready to go tomorrow afternoon. It is also hoped that Michael Atkinson can play some part this weekend, whilst James Clark will continue in his midfield role and the clubs penalty-taker, having converted in the last two games. With Anton Rodgers away this weekend and D’Andre Brown & Luis Le Paih still out through injury, it is possible that Ben Mason may be pushed from his right-back role, if needed. Louis Wilson, Aiden Lewis are options also.
The defence already without Scott Armsworth, may also have to go without our other centre-back Billy Upton, after he took a knock midweek. If he does get passed fi, he will team-up with experienced Nathan Smart in the middle. Dan Williamson may return to his right-back role, whilst Callum Winchcombe will retain his slot on the left, whilst James Haworth, continues to be ruled out through.
Mark Scott will be wearing the goalkeeper’s jersey once again.
Whatever line-up is put out this weekend, the team will need to be at its best to keep it’s winning run going against what is expected to be a tough match-up at a club that despite losing its manager, will want to push for a playoff place.
Match Preview by Martin French..