FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round – Saturday 2nd September 2023
AFC Stoneham 5 v 4 Basingstoke Town Attendance 262
Where: Stoneham Lane, Eastleigh. So16 2PA1 7GA
Dan’s line-up for this FA Cup encounter was: 1. Paul Strudley, 2. Markus Johnson-Schuster, 3. Callum Winchcombe, 4. Michael Atkinson (Capt), 5. Scott Armsworth, 6. Billy Upton, 7. Bradley Wilson, 8. Luis Le Paih, 9. Dan Rowe, 10. Ben Cook, 11. George Reid
On the bench: Paul Hodges, James Clark, Kai Hobbs, Ashleigh Artwell & D’Andre Brown
Referee – Dan Austin
The opening game of our Cup season got underway with us attacking the clubhouse end in the first half and there was little to note in the eighth minute, when Bradley Wilson takes it down the left, cuts inside and lets fly a shot that the keeper tips onto the bar and over for a corner. Stoneham defend the corner.
Stoke push forward again and force another more comfortable save out of the keeper from a Dan Rowe header.
Stoke continue to press forward and win another corner on the right. Dan Rowe from the goal-line and outwits his defender and meets George Reid’s corner first and his glancing header finds the corner of the net GOAL! AFC Stoneham 0 – 1 Basingstoke Town (Rowe 16 mins)
Stoke continue to push forward looking for a second and it comes on twenty one minutes, as we break once again through Wilson down the left, who sends over a cross that the Stoneham defender can only deflect past his own keeper into the net. GOAL!! AFC Stoneham 0 – 2 Basingstoke Town (Own Goal 21 mins)
The homeside have a bit of possession and win a corner down the left, which results in a header that flies wide of the far right-hand post.
Stoke look for the third goal, and the chance falls to Rowe, but the keeper makes a good save.
Stoneham are causing their own problems as they attempt to play out from the back, as we win another corner from good work by Rowe. The keeper makes a good catch from the corner.
Then in the thirty-second minute we again break down the left in a neat move that allows Callum Winchcombe to send over a low cross that rolls past Rowe, but allows Reid to nip in at the far post and scoop the ball past the keeper into the net GOAL!!! AFC Stoneham 0 – 3 Basingstoke Town (Reid 33 mins)
Wilson attacks again, but the keeper makes another save.
Stoneham have another attack, but the cross is nicely blocked away.
Then there are calls from the Stoneham players for a penalty, not sure if it’s for the tackle or ensuing handball, which the referee initially waves away, but then changes his mind and awards the spot-kick. The Stoneham penalty-taker sends Paul Strudley the wrong way. AFC Stoneham 1 – 3 Basingstoke Town.
The game restarts with two minutes remaining before the break.
We play four minutes of added-time, before the referee blows the halftime whistle.
Halftime Score: AFC Stoneham 1 v 3 Basingstoke Town
The second-half is underway with no changes to the Stoke line-up, and it’s Stoke back on the attack, and we break down the right, where Reid’s cross finds Rowe, who heads home again. GOAL!!!! AFC Stoneham 1 – 4 Basingstoke Town (Rowe 48 mins)
Stoneham attack from the restart and the balls falls to a Stoneham player whose shot from just outside the box, rebounds to one of his players inside the six-yard box, who takes his time, and then slots the ball into the net. AFC Stoneham 2 – 4 Basingstoke Town
This seems to urge the homeside on and they force a good save out of Strudley in goal.
The mood of the game has clearly changed as Stoneham seem to win more and more possession in midfield.
Stoke have a little bit of play, but are unable to put any pressure on the keeper.
It’s time to make some changes, as Luis Le Paih is replaced by Paul Hodges and Ben Cook replaced by D’Andre Brown on the hour.
Then from a poor pass, Stoneham break down the right, and finish neatly and they pull a further goal back. AFC Stoneham 3 – 4 Basingstoke Town (62 mins)
Stoneham have the bit between their teeth and are winning more and more tackles across the whole pitch, which gives them more incentive to push forward.
Stoke have a little possession, but Wilson’s chipped cross flies onto the roof of the net.
Stoneham are awarded another penalty for a foul just inside the box. The penalty fortunately hits the outside of the right-hand post, and flies away.
We have the next attack and Rowe finds Hodges whose shot flies harmlessly flies over the bar.
Stoneham push forward again and force a corner. The corner is won by a Stoneham player who puts the ball away. AFC Stoneham 4 – 4 Basingstoke Town
We make our third change with George Reid replaced by James Clark (77 mins).
Stoneham continue to win tackle after tackle, and are smelling blood and another cross flies across the face of the goal.
Stoneham then complete the turnaround as the Stoneham number No.9 slots the ball past Strudley. AFC Stoneham 5 – 4 Basingstoke Town.
Stoneham seem to win more and more aerial battles across the whole pitch, as we move into the final couple minutes of normal time.
Now in added-time, Billy Upton is pushed up front and we have a little possession, but Stoneham are getting in the way of everything we do.
Stoneham have a chance to add a sixth, but Strudley makes the save and Armsworth wins the rebound and clears.
Upton’s header from Wilson’s cross, is palmed away by the keeper.
Then on ten minutes of added-time, the ball is slid across the face of the goal, and Hodges touches the ball from literally a yard out only for it to take a slight deflection off a defender and fly away.
The referee has seen enough and blows the final whistle, and our FA Cup run is over.
Final Score: AFC Stoneham 5 v 4 Basingstoke Town
Rowe 13 & 47 mins, Own Goal 21mins, Reid 33 mins
Well not much can be said after another second-half that needs to be forgotten quickly. Out the FA Cup at the first hurdle once again, is yet another kick for a club that could do with the potential revenue lost.
We have seven days to get ready for our trip to Beaconsfield next Saturday.
Match Report by Martin French..