Isthmian South Central Division – 19th March 2022
Basingstoke Town 0 v 3 Sutton Common Rovers Attendance 446
Where: Winklebury Sports Complex, Winklebury Way, Basingstoke. RG23 8BF
Home form killing our playoffs hopes, as we slide to woeful defeat against Rovers
Dan Brownlie’s line-up today was: 1. Paul Strudley, 2. Robert Sheridan, 3.James Haworth, 4. D’Andre Brown 5. Nathan Smart, 6. Daryl Wollers, 7. Simon Dunn (Capt) 8. Bradley Wilson, 9. Stefan Brown, 10. Conor Lynch, 11. McKoy Palmer
On the bench: George Reid, Lloyd Snell, Ben Cook, Anton Rodgers & Jonathan Boardman
Referee – James Robinson
On a bright sunny but windy day, things did not look good when it became clear the referee was an old foe of ours in James Robinson, and with Stoke attacking the railway end, the game got underway, and Stoke pushed forward using Wilson down the wing, but the visitors are able to clear.
We then attack on five minutes, again through Bradley Wilson receives the ball down the right, and takes on his marker, and he cuts first onto his left then right and hits a shot that his blocked away.
Then on seven minutes a matter of inches possibly changes the rest of the game, as Stoke attacked over the halfway line and Stefan Brown slides the ball to James Haworth down the left who sends a low cross to where Conor Lynch gets the touch from four yards out, and somehow hits his shot against the underside of the bar and it bounces away.
Rovers then have the next few minutes of play , which includes an attack down our left and a low shot that Paul Strudley gets a hand on and then recovers the ball.
On 21 minutes we win a free-kick 35yrads out and the kick to the far post finds Rob Sheridan who gets his head to the ball, but with no power, the keeper makes the save.
It is the visitors pushing forward with the help of poor passing by a number of Stoke players, which also results in another attack and a shot that is blocked by Rob Sheridan.
Then on the half-hour we are forced to make our first change as Daryl Wollers who had taken two knocks in the previous couple of minutes, has to be replaced by Jonathan Boardman.
Then on 33 minutes, the visitors who have been the team on top, deservedly take the lead as they break down the left and their forward hits a volley that flies into the far corner of the net. Stoke 0 – 1 Sutton Common Rovers.
Things go from bad to worse just four minutes later as another attack is finished inside the six-yard box. Stoke 0- 2 Rovers.
On 40 minutes McKoy Palmer finds some space but his shot is comfortably saved by the keeper,
Then in the final minute of normal time in the first-half we break down the left and the ball is crossed by Palmer to the far post where Lynch heads the ball past the keeper into the net, but the cheers are short-lived as the linesman has flagged for offside.
On 46 mins Rovers attack once more down the left and a cross to the far post, has a Sutton forward who takes a shot, that is blocked out for a corner. Nothing comes from the corner and a few seconds later the referee blows the halftime whistle and Stoke go in struggling two-down.
Halftime – Basingstoke Town 0 v 2 Sutton Common Rovers
The game gets back underway, and on 51 mins we have the chance to get back into the game, as we attack down the left and slide the ball across to where Stefan Brown finds Bradley Wilson, who cuts inside and hits a shot, but it is again straight at the keeper and the keeper makes the save.
Then on 54 mins their goal-scorer Tony Halsey goes in the book for following through on Rob Sheridan as he clears the ball. We then attack down the right and send the ball over the right to where Lynch heads the ball but again straight at the keeper.
A minute later we look to go forward , but again give the ball away and they break and with our right-back gone walkabout they break down the left and one pass and a side-footed finish finds the far corner of the net. Stoke 0 – 3 Rovers
With still 30 minutes left we still seem unable to put two passes together and seem to lose most 50/50 tackles, some possibly not helped by the refereeing.
On 66 mins we break down the left through Palmer, but his cross find the keeper.
We then make a double substitution on 69 mins as Anton Rodgers replaces D’Andre Brown, and Ben Cook replaces Conor Lynch.
Some more wayward passing does not help our efforts, then on 74 mins we win the ball down the left through Ben Cook, but his pass deflects to Anton Rodgers who hits a shot that takes a deflection, and rolls a couple of yards wide for the corner. Rovers clear from the corner.
We then create a bit of pressure, but again Rovers seem able to block out whatever we do.
With ten minutes remaining Nathan Smart goes in the book. Another free-kick is given to Stoke when Stefan Brown is kicked. The free-kick is poor and hits the wall and is kicked clear.
Sutton are playing out the rest of the game with all three points secured, but we are able to make their keeper make one more safe as he dives to the right to save the shot from outside the box.
We play four minutes of added time, before the fans who have stayed to hear the final whistle, are put out of their misery, as the referee blows the final whistle.
Full-time Score: Basingstoke Town 0 v 3 Sutton Common Rovers
Manu 33 mins, Halsey 37 mins, Aziamale 58 mins
Another home game, another poor performance, as we were simply outplayed across all areas of the pitch. Had Conor’s chance gone in early, would it have made a difference, I’m not too sure. Some individuals just did not turn up today, and they need to take a look at themselves moving forwards
Our second of three home games now becomes more critical as we face Guernsey this Tuesday with a 7.45pm kick-off.
Match Report by Martin French..