Bet Victor Division One South – Saturday 22nd February 2020
Basingstoke Town 0 v 1 Paulton Rovers Attendance 252
Where: The Simplyhealth Stadium, Hillier Way, Winchester. S023 7SR
Stoke go down to the solitary goal on a poor game of a football.
Manager Dan Brownlie’s starting line-up with Harrison Cliff absent and Ben Wright still not fit; 1. Aaron Watkins, 2. Dean Stow (Capt), 3. Adam Everiss, 4. Scott Armsworth, 5. Josh Edwards 6. D’Andre Brown, 7. Claudio Herbert, 8. Ben Cook, 9. George Hallahan, 10. Simon Dunn, 11. Bradley Wilson
On the bench: Riccardo Andrady, Ben Dillon, Ryan Sucking, Aiden Harris & Lloyd Snell.
On what looked a heavy pitch, the game got underway and Stoke with a strong wind behind them attacked the clubhouse end in the first half.
On 4mins we win our first corner, as Bradley Wilson breaks down the left, but his cross is blocked out for a corner. This week it’s D’Andre Brown taking the corners, and his first kick is headed straight back to him, he takes a touch and sends in a deeper cross, that flies over the young inexperienced keeper, and finds Dean Stow, who under a strong challenge by a Rovers defender, can only head the ball back across the goal and hits another defender and flies away from the goal.
We are straight back on it and from a throw-in a good passing movement finds Ben Cook just outside the box and he takes the defender on and goes around him and hits a left-footed shot that hits the keeper and a defender puts it out for another corner. Nothing results from the corner.
On 8 mins, we are on the attack again and a cross takes a deflection of a defenders head and flies just past the far post and out for another corner, which is overhit and goes out for a goal-kick.
On 11 mins it’s the visitors turn to attack, as from their own goal-kick, Rovers work the ball out to the left wing, where their tricky little No.11 Edward Butcher, receives the ball and takes off towards the goal then hits a thunder of a shot from the 30 yards, that has Aaron Watkins beaten in goal, but cannons off the near post and back into the penalty area, where another Rovers forward takes a shot, but is well blocked and we are then able to hoof it clear.
It’s Stoke (15 mins), with another well worked move, as Claudio Herbert pick the ball up in midfield and a neat passing move between him and George Hallahan, allows Claudio to find Ben Cook just outside the box. This time Ben takes it on the right-hand of the penalty area and takes it round two defenders, and let’s fly another shot that the keeper has to push over the bar. From the corner the ball is met by the fists of the young keeper and flies to a Stoke player, who volleys it back in towards the goal, but hits one of our own players and rolls harmlessly to the keeper to recover.
On 19 mins Rovers seem to catch our side asleep, as from a throw-in just inside our half by the stand side, a Rovers midfielder is able to waltz 15 yards and then hit’s a volley from all of 35yds, that fortunately flies high over the bar.
It’s the visitors again on 24 mins who break again, but a shot from 22yds is well saved by Watkins.
Another neat attacking move, with Hallahan and Simon Dunn, which results in a poor-hit shot from Dunn that rolls to the keeper.
Just past the half-hour, it’s Rovers who attack down our left, and the cross finds a Rovers forward who heads the ball and Watkins keeps the game goal-less with a full-length diving save.
On 35 mins Dean Stow goes in his book for this third foul.
On 38 mins, George Hallahan breaks down the right and beats the offside trap, and takes the ball inside the box, but just as he looks to shoot the ball bobbles, and his shot balloon’s over the goal, over the covered stand and hits a car in the car park behind.
Just before the break, Rovers win a corner, which is initially headed clear, but finds a Rovers player whose shot is dragged wide of the far post.
It’s goal-less at the break, as we have put very little pressure on their young keeper.
No changes at halftime, as the game gets back underway and very little action for the first five minutes.
On 52 mins, we break down the right as Dunn feeds Wilson, who finds Herbert just inside the box. He decides to take a touch and the miss-hits his shot and the ball rolls to the keeper.
The Rovers No.5 goes in the book for a heavy tackle on Ben Cook. The resulting free-kick into the box by Everiss, is however ruled out for a Stoke foul (54mins).
The game is getting very sloppy, as neither team can put an attack of note on either goal.
On 67 mins the visitors force another good save out of Watkins from a cross and shot, that Aaron pushes over the bar. Nothing results from the corner.
The heavy pitch seems to be sapping the strength from both teams, as the game is causing one or two late tackles, as the referee hands another couple of yellow cards.
Stoke are down to ten-men as Scott Armsworth is off receiving treatment and it’s Rovers who break down the left and send in a cross that should be put away, but deflects out for a corner. From the corner, the ball finds it’s way past four players, but hits a Rovers player and it rolls past Watkins in goal and Stoke trail (76 mins).
On 81 mins, we make our first change of the day, with Claudio Herbert being replaced by Riccardo Andrady.
We can’t seem to hold onto the ball over the next five minutes and we make our second change as Ben Dillon replaces D’Andre Brown.
On 90 mins our final change is Ryan Suckling for Adam Everiss.
We head into injury-time and we finally put some real pressure on the Rovers defence, but somehow we fail to score, as in a 30-second period, we have three shots, two by Hallahan which includes one shot that is kicked off the goal-line.
The referee blows the final whistle, and we go down to a solitary goal.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 0 v 1 Paulton Rovers
Well no time for a rest, as next up is the rearranged match at promotion chasers Melksham Town on Monday night. Would love to know where Harrison Cliff was today?
Today’s Golden Goal winner was long-time Stoke supporter Michael Skinner with 76 minutes.
Match Report by Martin French..