Isthmian South Central Division – Saturday 4th March 2023
Ashford Town 0 v 3 Basingstoke Town Attendance 224
Where: Robert Parker Stadium, Short Lane, Stanmore. TW19 7BH
Stoke Continue Their Winning Ways With Comfortable Win At Ashford
Dan Brownlie’s line-up tonight was: 1. Paul Strudley, 2. Markus Johnson-Schuster, 3. Callum Winchcombe, 4. Michael Atkinson, 5. Billy Upton, 6. Scott Armsworth, 7. Bradley Wilson, 8. Ben Cook, 9. Paul Hodges, 11. George Reid, 14. Sam Argent
On the bench: James Clark, Brody Peart, D’Andre Brown, Nathan Smart & Sam Argent
Referee – Thomas Durno
The final two months of our promotion push season gets underway with Stoke attacking the gas works end, and it’s Ashford who have the first attack of note, as a shot from just outside the box is saved by Paul Strudley down low.
Fifteen minutes in and Stoke have to still to get going or trouble their keeper.
Then we come over the halfway line and the ball is slipped to Ben Cook, who takes it ten yards then hits a shot that seems to catches the keeper flatfooted, and the ball finds the bottom corner of the net. GOAL! Ashford Town 0 – 1 Basingstoke Town (Cook 23 mins)
A minute later Strudley pulls out another save from a free-kick that bounces in our penalty area, and a shot is once again saved down low by the post.
We then double our lead as the ball finds Simon Dunn, who slots it home from close range GOAL! Ashford Town 0 – 2 Basingstoke Town (Dunn 27 mins)
We nearly make it three a couple of minutes later as the keeper pushes a way a cross that Michael Atkinson retrieves and he slides it back across the six-yard line to Bradley Wilson whose shot is blocked away.
Billy Upton makes a fine tackle to shut down the next Ashford attack.
We then break up another Ashford attack and we break into Ashford’s half and Dunn finds Cook, who hits a shot that is comfortably saved by the keeper.
We are in the last minute of normal time and it’s still Stoke who look comfortable, but Upton makes another clearance, before the referee blows for halftime.
Halftime – Ashford Town 0 v 2 Basingstoke Town
The second-half gets underway and we push forward to get the third goal, and it arrives through an error between their defender and keeper and the ball falls to Cook who slots it home into an empty net GOAL! Ashford Town 0 – 3 Basingstoke Town (Cook 50 mins)
Ashford have a little bit of play around our penalty area, but our defence deals with it comfortably.
We make our first change with Michael Atkinson being replaced by D’Andre Brown (66 mins).
Reid is sent down the right and slides the ball across the face of the goal, and a shot is blocked, that falls to another Stoke player whose shot is somehow blocked on the line and Ashford scramble the ball off the line.
Stoke are in full control of this game and we seem happy with the three goals.
We make our final two changes with James Clark replacing George Reid and Brody Peart replacing Paul Hodges (81 mins)
We then break again down the right and the ball finds Peart whose shot flies a yard wide of the post.
We are now in added-time, but time for one more attack, Wilson breaks down the left, but his shot flies wide of the right-hand post.
It’s job done, and three more points, as the referee has seen enough and blows the final whistle.
Full-time Score: Ashford Town 0 v 3 Basingstoke Town
Cook 23 & 50 mins, Dunn 27 mins
Stoke were more than good value for the win, even if there were periods of little goalmouth action. Strudley again made two crucial saves when called upon and do we have a new striker in Ben Cook?
Eight games to go, as we extend our winning streak to thirteen.
Is a huge game as we head to Northwood next Saturday , with a score to settle for the defeat back in October.
Match Report by Martin French..