Isthmian South Central Division – 15th January 2022
Basingstoke Town 1 v 3 Northwood Attendance 531
Where: WinklebIsthmian South Central Division – 15th January 2022
Basingstoke Town 1 v 3 Northwood Attendance 531
Where: Winklebury Sports Complex, Winklebury Way, Basingstoke. RG23 8BF
Stoke slip-shod in latest loss at Winklebury, drop to seventh!!
Dan Brownlie’s line-up today was 1. Paul Strudley, 2. Dan Williamson, 3. James Haworth, 4. Robert Sheridan, 5. Nathan Smart, 6. Anton Rodgers, 7. Simon Dunn (Capt), 8. Jack French, 9. Bradley Wilson, 10. Conor Lynch, 11. McKoy Palmer
On the bench: Brody Peart, Ben Cook, George Reid, Stefan Brown & Daryl Wollers,
Referee – Stephen Hawkes
Basingstoke kicked off attacking the Railway End on what was dry and cold January afternoon, and within the first 90 seconds, it appeared we came to play football, as Anton Rodgers wins a tackle midway in Northwood’s half, and slides the ball in space down the left touchline, where James Haworth, sends over a first-time curling cross into the six-yards box. The giant Northwood keeper drops the ball in his attempt to catch it, but falls on it, as it reaches Conor Lynch.
The next few minutes sees some strange decisions by the referee as a couple of heavy tackles are put in, without the referee stopping the game. However, the referee does then takes action booking James Haworth who mis-times his tackle, as a Northwood forward tries to break. The free-kick flies past the face of the goal and out for a goal-kick.
Some poor passing in midfield, allows Northwood to regain possession more than once over the next couple of minutes, which allows them to break forward, but they fail to create anything.
On 12 mins we have nice passing move inside their half, which ends with McKoy Palmers pass that Conor Lynch is unable to take in his stride and it rolls out for a goal-kick.
We have the next attack, but their rather large No.5 has time to control the ball and hit it clear, we then quickly give the ball away again, and ball through to their leading striker Josh Helmore breaks free then rounds Paul Strudley and slides the ball into the goal. Stoke 0 – 1 Northwood.
James Haworth is involved in the second booking of the day, but this time he is the victim of a heavy tackle, that takes the referee over a minute to book their No.2.
We win a corner after Lynch takes the ball down to the byline and his cross is, mis-hit out by their No.5 out for a corner. The corner flies harmlessly over everybody and out for a throw-in on the far side.
Another five minutes has us failing to hold onto the ball, and on 28 minutes it nearly comes back and bites us, as we win the ball in our box, give it straight back to them and a Northfield player finds Helmore who takes a touch then turns and hits a shot, but it is blocked to Strudley.
A minute later they appear to have scored again from a free-header, but the linesman has his flag up.
The referee does not help the flow of the game, as every free-kick appears to take at least a minute to get restarted.
We win another corner, after 34 minutes as a visiting player knocks the ball out. Nothing comes from the corner, and the rather portly No.4 has time to turn and clear the ball.
On 36 mins we appear to have equalised, when a cross forces the keeper to punch the ball but straight to a Stoke player who knocks it past the keeper to Lynch who knocks it into the net, but with just one defender behind the keeper and Lynch, the linesman flags for offside.
We head into the last five minutes of play, with more erratic passing, which Northwood seem more than happy to take advantage of, as their No. 7 breaks down the right wing, cuts inside and sends a low left-foot shot that Strudley makes a good diving stop.
The biggest cheer off the half occurs as we head into injury-time, as the referee running backwards to get back into position, runs into a Northwood defender and falls over.
Joking aside the visitors still have two more chances in injury-time, as first a cross from the left wing finds their No.11 wide-open, but his volley flies over the bar. However the goal-kick flies straight to a Northwood player who takes a touch then hits a shot from 35 yards that forces another save out of Strudley.
The referee decides enough is enough and blows the halftime whistle.
Halftime – Basingstoke Town 0 v 1 Northwood
The game gets back underway with no changes by us, and Northwood look to attack us straight away, but we are able to clear the ball as they reach our penalty-area.
However, seconds later we go further behind, as another loose pass is picked up and Northwood break and a forward hits a shot that Strudley punches the ball away, but to a Northwood forward who knocks it home. Calls for offside are ignored as the score now sits at Basingstoke Town 0 – 2 Northwood.
We then make a double substitution on 54 mins, as Ben Cook replaces Jack French, and Stefan Brown replaces Anton Rodgers.
The next ten minutes rolls past with little action by either side, which Northwood are more than happy with.
We then take a short-corner, which we lose the ball, but we retrieve the ball through Ben Cook, who takes two touches and let’s fly, but his shot flies wide of the goal.
Nathan Smart then goes in the book, for what is believed to be taking a free-kick with the ball moving (65 mins).
We then have an attack and a shot on goal from Conor Lynch, that the keeper pushes out for a corner. Nothing comes from the corner.
We then have another shot through Bradley Wilson, which the keeper punches away, and they are able to clear.
On 73 mins we make our final change with George Reid replacing McKoy Palmer.
On 76 mins we have our next attack as Simon Dunn breaks over the halfway line, and finds Stefan Brown, who hits a shot from 35 yards that bends just as it reaches the keeper who palms it down and as the ball runs loose, Lynch and the keeper collide, and the referee give Northwood the free-kick.
We are winning more possession, but seem unable to do anything with.
We win a free-kick by the left touchline about 40yds out, but the kick taken by Cook, flies over everyone and out for a goal-kick.
Then on 87 mins after a controversial tackle on Haworth goes unpunished and Northwood break down the right, then cross the ball to their forward Sydney Ibie who has time to take a touch before putting it into a wide-open net and we fall three goals behind.
Stoke then have another shot on target, as Wilson hits a shot but flies straight at the keeper who makes a save.
Heading into injury-time, we are still giving the ball away but then a fine pass by Cook over the Northwood back four finds Bradley Wilson, who takes one touch then thumps the ball past the keeper. GOAL ! Basingstoke Town 1 v 3 Northwood (Wilson 92 mins )
The game gets back underway and another cross into the Northwood goalmouth falls harmlessly to their keeper, and then a minute later the referee puts those who have remained out of our misery, as he blows the final whistle.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 1 v 3 Northwood
Wilson 92 mins Helmore 16 mins, Stacey 48 mins, Ibie 87 mins
Well three home games in a row, we have shown a lack of intensity in the first-half, and today was the worst of the lot. Our passing was again poor and wayward on too many occasions and we could not find a way to break down what looked a very slow Northwood defence.
We travel to Guernsey for a Sunday fixture, and it will be interesting how many decide to take the risk and the cost to travel after today’s performance.