Isthmian South Central Division – Friday 7th April 2023
Basingstoke Town 1 v 0 Southall Attendance 675
Where: Winklebury Sports Complex, Winklebury Way, Basingstoke. RG23 8BF
A Late Brody Peart Goal Pushes Stoke Back To The Top Of The Table
Dan Brownlie’s line-up on this Good Friday afternoon was: 1. Paul Strudley, 2. Markus Johnson-Schuster, 3. Callum Winchcombe, 5. Billy Upton, 6. Scott Armsworth, 7. Bradley Wilson, 8. Simon Dunn (Capt), 9. Paul Hodges, 10. Ben Cook, 11. George Reid, 19. Sam Argent,
On the bench: Brody Peart, Nathan Smart, Ben Mason, D’Andre Brown & Stefan Brown
Referee – Stuart Smith
Another big Bank Holiday crowd, saw the game delayed twenty minutes before Stoke kicked-off defending the railway end, in the first half and it’s Simon Dunn at both ends of the pitch, as we allow a Southall forward to stroll past three players, until Dunn nips and slips the ball away and clears, then a minute later Dunn receives the ball in midfield and with space in front smashes a shot that forces the Southall keeper into a diving save, as he palms the ball out for a corner. Nothing comes from the keeper.
Then a well-timed tackle from Billy Upton, prevents another Southall attack.
Then a neat move from Callum Winchcombe who finds Bradley Wilson, who finds Sam Argent, who takes a touch and from ten yards hits a shot that the Southall keeper gets a foot to and Southall are able to clear.
It’s Winchcombe who sets-up Stok’s next attack as he clips the ball to Paul Hodges who takes the ball inside the six-yard box, but as he tries to shoot, the ball is blocked out for a corner. Again Southall deal with it.
Stoke continue to push forward, but can’t create any open chances, as we move towards the half-hour mark.
Another Winchcombe cross finds Hodges, but his header slides past the near left-hand post and out for a goal-kick.
With less than five minutes before the break, Southall continue to suck the life out of the game, meeting their objective.
We win another corner down the right, but again nothing comes from it.
A nice passing move allows Argent to smash a left foot shot that the keeper pushes over the bar. The corner is initially cleared and we push forward again and a shot from Wilson forces a full-length diving save out of the Southall keeper, and the referee blows the halftime whistle seconds later.
Halftime – Basingstoke Town 0 v 0 Southall
The second-half gets underway, and Stoke win a free-kick down on the right just outside the penalty area, after Reid is knocked off the ball. An improvised one-two pass between Reid & Cook allows Reid to create a yard of space and he hits a shot that flies of a Southall defender and out for a corner. Southall yet again defend the kick.
Then just past the hour we break down the right through Reid who slides the ball across the face of the goal to Wilson and the far post, who hits a first-time side-footed shot that the keeper is able to block, and a Southall defender is first to the rebound and clears.
It’s time for a change, all three in fact, as Brody Peart replaces Bradley Wilson, Stefan Brown for Sam Argent & D’Andre Brown for Ben Cook (67 mins).
Peart’s first action is to win a free-kick off the eight-foot Southall No.5. However, he slips and double-kicks the free-kick and the referee blows for a free-kick against Peart.
D’Andre Brown, then goes in the book for I assume something he has said to the referee.
Stoke are still struggling to create anything of note with twelve minutes to go, then a chance falls to Hodges, but his shot although hit well, is straight at the keeper who makes a comfortable save.
Still Southall are keeping us at bay, then a long through ball by Billy Upton is met first time by Peart on the edge of the penalty area, who side foots a shot past the keeper and goes into the net off the far post GOAL! Basingstoke Town 1 – 0 Southall (Peart 82 mins)
This forces Southall to come out looking for an equaliser, and we break forward again and Peart sets up Hodges who mishits a shot from close range. That should have killed the game off.
Southall have suddenly woken up, but for all their efforts don’t force a real save out of Strudley in goal.
The referee allows four and half minutes of added-time and that is enough, as he blows the full-time whistle, as Stoke gets back to winning ways and back to the top of the table.
Full-time Score: Basingstoke Town 1 v 0 Southall
Peart 82 mins
Another tense match against a well-drilled Southall defence, saw us struggle once again to break teams down. No the most fluent Stoke today, but however Brody Peart comes to the rescue with a late winner, and puts pressure on Walton & Hersham’s visit to Guernsey today.
Is our Easter Monday trip to nearby opponents Thatcham Town with a 3pm kick-off.
Match Report by Martin French..