Hampshire Senior Cup 2nd Round Tuesday 18th September2018
Basingstoke Town 2 v 1 Farnborough FC Attendance 308
On a mild September evening, Basingstoke comprehensively performance wise strode through to the 3rd round of the Hampshire Cup.
With injuries and the FA Cup in mind Jason Bristow went with the following line-up; in goal McAdden, the back four an unusual mix of Akers, Stow, Philby & Orvis. In Midfield was Collier, McKnight & Deadfield. A forward line of Smart, Bunting and Captain on the night Wright.
On the bench was Bennett, Hunt, Long & Harris.
Yes it appears Akers is setting up at right back.,
The game with Basingstoke Town attacking the clubhouse end was slow as neither team looked to create any offensive attacks in the first few minutes of the game.
The first attack of note was on 8 minutes as Smart’s precise attack down the left wing, was initially blocked, and his follow-up cross was headed clear by a ‘Boro’ defender.
Stoke continue to be the team on the front foot, but fail to really create a clear chance as we move into the first quarter of the match.
On 18 mins we attack down the left following a sweet pass from Deadfield to Smart, he slides the ball to Bunting, who turns and shoots but his shot is well blocked by a Farnborough defender.
On 22 mins Sam Deadfield goes down injured and is immediately replaced by George Bennett. What this means for Saturday’s Fa Cup game at Bristol Manor Farm is worrying.
On 26 mins we have a swift passing move and the resulting shot from Wright, is curled 2yds wide of the far post.
On 31 mins Stoke are back on it, as a nice move from McKnight to Smart, sends Sam away, he beats the first defender but his cross is easily cleared by the ‘Boro’.
Another lull in penetrative play by either team occurs until the 42 min when Stoke who have the majority of play give away a free-kick 30yds out.
On 38 mins after further decent play we are on the edge of the box, but a shot by Smart goes 2yds wide. This is followed by a further shot which is initially blocked but the rebound by Bunting again seems to slide wide of the post.
However, no matter the amount of possession if you don’t take your chances, you may be punished. And that’s what happened on 42 mins.
Farnborough win a free-kick 28yds out. The kick hits the top of the wall and beats the out-stretchered arms of McAdden. Basingstoke 0 – 1 Farnborough.
Yet from the kick-off Stoke are on the attack, behind Bunting’s decent work down the right wing. He slips the ball to Stow, whose cross creates havoc in the 6-yd box and despite initially being cleared, we win a free-kick 35yds out. The kick is swung into the penalty area, where Wright initially controls it, he passes to Collier, who is unable to take a shot and passes it back to Wright, who ingeniously slips a pass to Smart (who looks offside to me), but Sam takes one touch then unleashes a bullet past the keeper into the far corner of the goal. GOAL Basingstoke 1 – 1 Farnborough.
As the referee gets the game re-started, he then immediately blows for halftime.
The start of the second half, I have to openly admit, I miss as I was helping out in the clubhouse, only to hear upon my return to the ground that we have taken a 2 -1 lead, following a deep pass to Bunting, whose heads beats the on-suing keeper, and rolls into an open net. GOAL Basingstoke 2 – 1 Farnborough
Basingstoke are back on the attack straight away and create further havoc in ‘Boro’s’ defence as Bunting is fed a decent pass, but after beating one player, he can’t beat the second defender, who is able to clear.
Then on 51 mins we attack again, and Smart feeds Bunting whose shot flies wide.
Stoke are back on the attack on 53 mins, after Akers playing more attacking in this half, retrieves the ball cuts back and slide the ball to Collier, who takes one touch then shoots form 35yds which curls away from the keeper, but hits the outside of the far post and goes out for a goal-kick.
On 57 mins we again create another attack behind Bunting’s flicked header to Smart. he cuts inside but his hot is well blocked.
Farnborough have their first attack of the second half on 60 mins as a break seems to break down our left, but Orvis makes a timely tackle and clears the ball to Bennett.
Stoke are still well on top, and 66mins proves how much quality this squad has, as McKnight who has started to come further into the game is fed the ball 30yds out on the right.
In a touch of Premier league quality, McKnight on 66 mins, drags the ball back before then sliding past the Farnborough player, leaving him grabbing for thin air, McKnight then takes two further touches before sending a bullet of a shot, past the hapless keeper, only to smash against the underside of the bar and bounces out. Bunting is unable to get a touch leaving Smart 10yds out who hits the ball over the stand.
Literally 30 seconds later, following a Farnborough mix-up, Stoke attack again down the right. We attack again Bunting passes across to Smart, whose first time shot is blocked and then hacked clear. Then on 70 mins we hit the woodwork again as Bunting and Smart feeds Wright who turns and sends a thunderbolt of a shot against the post/bar and it flies away.
Farnborough are somehow still in the game, but Stoke attack again, as a cross-field pass is taken by Bunting’s off his chest, who then co trolls the ball before attacking down the wing, but the cross is blocked out for a keeper. However, Bennett’s corner is cleared.
We are back on it again on 74 mins, as McKnight & Collier stride forward over the halfway line and release Smart down the left who cuts inside but his shot is miss hit and trickles towards the keeper.
Farnborough then have an attack down our right, and they are behind our back line, but the cross is cleared by the impressive Philby.
Stoke are back on it, until Smart goes down with a head injury. The ref blows for medical assistance and then turns and books George Bennett for something he has said. Sorry George, but this is absolutely unnecessary as he picks up his numerous yellow of the season.
On 80 mins Farnborough have half a chance but the shot flies high over the bar and out the ground.
On 81 mins we are suddenly under the cosh and we decide to make a change with McKnight being replaced by Liam Hunt. Farnborough create another attack but the shot is half blocked by the Stoke stout defence and is straight at McAdden.
Hunt, then takes a shot for a touch of glory but his shot is dragged towards the keeper.
Farnborough are now attacking with sheer abandon, but we seem to be able to repel everything they have
and two quick breaks by us end with nothing of note.
We are now closing in on 90 mins as ‘Boro’ attack again but, a last-ditch tackle is cleared out to Akers who strides 25yds into the opposition half, he beats two defenders then slides the ball to Smart, who takes a touch, then can’t beat the oncoming keeper somehow.
The ball flies down into our half, as we now move into 4 mins of injury-time. A ‘Boro’ corner is hacked clear, but the ref has blown for a Stoke free-kick. McAdden takes his time with the kick and the ref finally blows the full-time whistle.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 2 – 1 Farnborough Town
Comments: Somehow despite all the dominance we are able only to hit the back of the net twice, where we deserved 6 or 7 goals tonight. Quality performances by Akers, McKnight and the workmanlike Bunting are worthy of an extra comment around a superb all-team performance.
The winning feeling continues as we await the next round draw and head to our FA Cup opponent’s Bristol Manor Farm on Saturday.
Match Report by Martin French..