Match Preview: Isthmian League South Central Division
South Park Vs Basingstoke Town
When: Saturday 8th January 2022 Kick-off 3pm
Where: King Georges Field, Whitehall Lane, South Park, Reigate. RH2 8LG
South Park (Nickname – The Sparks), Average 2021-22 Home Attendance 67
Well after the highs of the Thatcham game we came back down to earth with a bump in front of a new highest league attendance at Winklebury of 824.
After a poor start and trailing by just the two goals at halftime, we fought back into the game through Conor Lynch’s clinical finish and a swift move and neat finish by Lloyd Snell. If not for a dubious decision in injury-time, we could have come away with all three points, that to be honest we did not deserve.
This leaves us travelling into Surrey to take on another team we have never played before, South Park, with us needing to keep up with teams who now sit above us in the promotion push.
The Field are managed by Martin Dynan, who has been an assistant at Guildford City, Whyteleafe and player-Manager at Three Bridges. Dynan, took over in November 2019 when previous Manager Jay Lovett left to take over Burgess Hill.
South Park merged with Reigate in 2001, and after being initially called South Park & Reigate, the club was finally named South Park just after that.
The Sparks currently sit in a comfortable mid-table position (9th), with an overall record of
PLD 18 Won 6 Drawn 4 Lost 8 GF 35 GA 30 Pts 22. Although in ninth they sit 15 points behind us, so keeping in the top half of the table will be their priority.
Their recent form however has not been the best, as they have lost four of their last five games, including last weeks 2-1 loss at an improving Ashford Town side. The other game interestingly was a 0-0 draw at home to our last opponents, Westfield.
To do that they will need to hold onto goal-scoring strikers Adam Aziz & Ibrahim Jalloh.
Aziz, has 17 goals on the season, which includes 12 league goals and is their penalty-taker. Aziz had a lot of youth experience becoming selected for trials with Chelsea back in 2010, before moving on with trials at clubs such as Charlton, Stoke & Reading.
Jalloh, has nine goals on the season, eight in the league. Jalloh joined from Three Bridges at the start of the season.
Melford Simpson is another striker who has six goals, four in the league. Added to this Just before Christmas, South Park signed Ashley-Paul Robinson who played for Crystal Palace under Neil Warnock back in 2010. Robinson, has also played for Dulwich Hamlets & Bromley. One other forward they signed back in November from Horsham was Alex Laing, who has three league goals and one cup goal so far.
South Park looking to move to a 3G surface in the near future, will look at our results and will look to get back to winning ways against us.
Your Basingstoke Town Side
Well following our festive fixtures where we took four out of a possible six points at home, we head back out on the road, and as stated to yet another club we have never played before, South Park, with the need of a win to keep us in contention with the other playoff contenders.
Our draw against a better than expected Westfield side, combined with wins for all the other playoff contenders, mean’t we slipped to fifth place and a record of PLD 18 Won 11 Drawn 4 Lost 3 GF 37 GA 27 Pts 37
Striker Bradley Wilson will be back from his 3-game ban and could freshen up a front-line that may allow others to rest, especially if George Reid or Lloyd Snell are not fit to play.
Conor Lynch, yet once more hit the back of the net, making that his 16th goal and now tenth in the league. Stefan Brown, who neatly set-up Conor’s goal, missed two other chances to get on the scoresheet, and hopefully this won’t continue this Saturday.
If Reid misses out then McKoy Palmer looks to be our only winger who should start.
The midfield continues to see captain Simon Dunn, take some heavy knocks, but hopefully he will be back in his usual No,11 shirt come Saturday. D’Andre Brown missing from Monday’s game, and Ben Cook back from New York will be in contention to start alongside Anton Rodgers.
Defensively, we continue to concede goals at a rate that is not a playoff looking side, and yes we have injuries and possible covid player issues, that affected our line-up against Westfield, but conceding early as well as late goals is not a recipe that can continue.
Will Daryl Wollers earn a starting role, which to me he appears more suited to, and the return to full-fitness of Shaun Dallimore, is needed to give us options at the back.
The one constant we have is keeper Paul Strudley, who in many fans eyes is one of our player-of-the-season contenders as we hit the halfway stage in the league following Monday’s draw.
With South Park’s average attendance being just 67, it will be interesting to see how many of our fans travel up the M3 to this game, which on paper is more important that we come away with the three points, than our hosts.
If you have a chance come and get behind our team at King Georges Field this Saturday.
Match Preview by Martin French..