Evo-Stick South Premier Division – Tuesday 27th November 2018
Basingstoke Town 1 v 3 Hartley Wintney (The Row) Attendance 342
Yet another utterly depressing league performance, after last Saturday’s close FA Trophy loss to Torquay United.
Terry Brown had to jiggle with his squad for tonight’s match against Hartley Wintney.
With Sam Smart on another week’s trial up north in Sunderland, injuries to Dan Collier and other knocks to Hollamby and others, Terry Brown line-up for tonight was; In Goal Colm McAdden, the back four of Zidane Akers, Harry Philby, Dan Bayliss & Robert Gerrard. The midfield contained Charlie Kennedy (Capt), Jack McKnight, Sam Deadfield & Dean Stow, with Sam Argent & Ben Wright again leading the attack tonight.
On the bench; Hollamby, Orvis, Hunt, Parker & C Kennedy.
With the heavy rain stopping at 5.30pm, the referee passed the pitch fit to play and under cloudy but warm conditions, Basingstoke attacked the Clubhouse End in the first half.
Very little action to note until the 6th min, when they break and we’re one down as Hartley take the lead.
On 10 mins our first real attack, as Argent is pout through he out muscles the defender and gets a shot away from the 20yds, but it’s straight at the keeper who gets his legs to it and then retrieves the rebound.
A minute later and one of the few decent crosses of the night down the right finds Argent again, but he can’t get a decent connection and it flies past the goalmouth and out for a goal-kick.
On 13 mins and Argent is fed down the right wing, is cross beats the first defender, but there’s no-one who can get a touch on it and Hartley are able to scramble it clear. The ball comes straight back again and this time it is cleared to Stow about 30yds out in front of goal, he takes a touch and puts it on his left foot, and then hits a fairly soft curling shot straight at the keeper.
On 15 mins a deep cross free-kick goes flying past our goalmouth and out for a goal-kick.
Another cross on 19 mins from Hartley causes a few problems at the far post, but it ends with a Stoke goal-kick.
The next 5 to 6 mins are fairly scrappy from both sides, and neither team create a chance.
On 28 mins and Hartley create another chance as a far-post cross just misses the striker.
Finally, after on the half-hour, we get back in the match, as the ball is fed to Wright, who dummies the defender and then flicks it past him and then hits a left-foot shot across the keeper who gets a slight touch and then ball rolls just past the far post about a yard out, where Deadfield is first to the ball and flicks it in with the outside of his boot. GOAL Basingstoke Town 1 – 1 Hartley Wintney.
On 33 mins after more scrappy play, the Hartley keeper retrieves the ball in his area and then tries a quick clearance and mis-hits it straight to McKnight 30yds out. Jack takes two quick touches and then fires a bullet of a shot, but this was always never going in and flies a yard over the bar.
On 35 mins and Hartley have their next chance, as they break down our right the cross is met by ex-Stoke forward Ross Cook, who just can’t keep his header down and it flies well wide of the post for a goal-kick.
Moving into the last five mins of the first half after more scrappy play by both teams.
On 43 mins, we have the umpteenth attack down the right wing where the cross is pretty dreadful, as it can’t beat the first defender.
The ref blows for half-time with the scores level 1 – 1 on a pretty average game.
The second-half gets underway and we have the first half-chance on 49 mins following good work by McKnight, who feeds Akers, but the cross is yet again poor and Hartley clear.
Then on 51mins Akers feeds Stow whose cross isn’t cleared and the ball finds Deadfield who flicks it through to Argent and as he turns to shoot the ball is deflected away for a corner.
On 52 and 53 mins we attack down the right, but more shocking crosses are easily cleared.
On 55 mins and Hartley break and create a half-chance as the forward turns, but hits the ball 10yds wide of the goal.
Hartley continue to attack and on 58 mins they retake the lead as an innocuous cross into the box, and Gerrard makes a complete hash of it and kicks it to a Hartley forward, the first shot is blocked, but the rebound falls to Cook who pokes it home. That was shocking defensive work yet again.
We make our first change on 62 mins with Wright (who did little apart from the shot that created the goal), is replaced by Parker.
The next five minutes sees more dreadful crosses by Stoke down the right.
On 69 mins we create a half-chance that is blocked out for a corner. McKnight’s corner is finally to the far-post where Gerrard out leaps the Hartley defender and makes a fine headed connection towards goal, only for the keeper to push it over the bar. The follow-up corner bounces around the goal-mouth before it is cleared.
Then on 71 mins the game is put to rest as they break again and a deflected shot flies past McAdden and we trail 1 – 3.
Honestly the next 10 mins is fought in the middle 3rd of the pitch, with neither team creating anything that resembles a chance. This includes some more abysmal attempts at crossing the ball.
On 82 mins we replace Bayliss with Hollamby.
Hartley are now settling for the 3 points and we seem to be unable to break them down, or even put them under any real pressure.
Akers, is now moved into the middle, possibly with a knock, but also with little sign of him getting a decent cross into the box either.
The minutes are drifting away, and the game is dead and buried and the referee finally puts the Stoke fans out of the misery after 4 mins of injury-time and blows the final whistle.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 1 – 3 Hartley Wintney
Final Thought’s – Despite a few changes, we were really, really poor tonight and as Mr Moore pointed out very little passion, by most players, and we lose again as we finally say good riddance to November.
Efforts put in by Argent, McKnight and Deadfield.
More defensive woes, and another 3 points lost as we slip down the table.
My post on Wednesday night will be a bit more clinical and to the truth, as I go through this weeks results in our league.
Match Report by Martin French..