CSS League Challenge Cup Tuesday 8th January 2019
Basingstoke Town 1 – 4 Hartley Wintney Attendance 178
With both Sam Argent & Charlie Kennedy failing late fitness tests, it left Martin Kuhl’s squad decisions a little more tougher and with his decision to either rest or start others on the bench, the line-up was a little bit different to say the least!! Looked like he went with a 4-3-3 formation it was; In goal Colm McAdden, the back four of Jim Orvis, Shane Hollamby, Dan Baylis & Rob Gerrard. The midfield contained Sam Deadfield (Capt), Drew Matthews, & Oliver Harris, with 3 upfront Sam Smart, Aaron Redford & Zidane Akers.
On the bench; Collier, Stow, A. Harris, Hunt & Shean.
The game got underway with a pretty poor crowd with Basingstoke Town kicking off attacking the Clubhouse end.
Very little goalmouth for the first five minutes as both teams fail to put any decent passing movements together.
On 6 mins, the ball is fed to Redford, but his left-footed shot is not hit well and the big late replacement keeper makes an easy save.
Then on 7 mins, Stoke have another similar shot from distance, this time Deadfields shot is straight at the keeper.
On 8 & 9 mins, chances by both teams, as Hartley first attack down our left, the ball is slotted into he heart of the 6yd box, where a Hartley forward tries to turn and shoot, but just as he turns, Gerrard crosses his path and takes the ball of his feet and clears downfield, and finds Akers free down the right, he could cross to Redford who is alone at the far post, but decides to take another touch then crosses, the ball deflects off a Hartley defender and flies in the air towards Redford, who does a sort of bicycle kick that sends the ball high in the air and out for a goal-kick.
Less than a minute later Smart is sent free down the wing, his cross his deflected to the far post but is pushed back into the goalmouth area where Redford, looks to shoot first time, but slides it to his right and unleashes a well-hit shot, but straight at the keeper, who punches the ball clear. However, in the aftermath, it appears Redford is injured and will be replaced straight away by Dan Collier. Our forward line is visibly weakened.
On 13 minutes and following a foul in our half, a Hartley free-kick is well-taken by the Colm McAdden in the air.
Very few chances apart from another weak shot by Oliver Harris straight to the keeper.
Then Hartley take the lead following a free-kick 25yds out. It’s straight over the wall and Colm’s not getting near that one. Basingstoke trail 0-1.
We then have another 4 minutes of Hartley pressure, as we struggle to get the ball out of our own half. We pay for this failure, as another attack down our right this time and a nice one-two and the ball is slotted past our keeper and we now trail by two goals.
Hartley now seem to be attacking at will and it’s like bailing water out of the titanic with a spoon.
We then have a half-chance on 31mins, when we win the ball just inside Hartley’s half, the ball is swung over by Deadfield to Akers wide of the far post about 8yds out, but is volley is sent way over the bar and hits the top of the wall behind the goal.
On 35 mins and Smart tears past two defenders down the right and sends in a lovely ball across the face of the goal, just begging for a touch from a Stoke player, but there’s no-one within five yards of it.
On 38 mins and Smart is sent free down the right again and is cynically taken out and the Hartley left back rightly goes in the book. The free-kick is a shocker from Deadfield though and Hartley clear.
Hartley could have been 3-up but miss a clear chance.
Then on 43 mins, there is a glimmer of hope, as further good work by Smart who wins a corner, when the keeper slides out feet first and mishits it across his own goal-line. He takes it quickly and cuts the ball inside to Deadfield who looks to shoot, but can’t find the space, so clips the ball over the back post where Bayliss heads back into the centre of the goal, Hollamby fails to get a touch on it and it falls to Deadfield, who again looks to shoot, takes two touches and then smashes it into the bottom left-hand corner. GOAL Basingstoke Town 1 – 2 Hartley Wintney.
No further action by either team as the ref blows for half-time.
No further changes at halftime as we attack the Town End in the second-half and the first real attack is on 48 mins as Smart again down the right forces a corner for Stoke. The corner is comfortably cleared by Hartley.
Then on 50 mins and one of the reasons we are still behind, as Akers is fed through, he takes two nice touches, looks to set himself to shoot, then takes another a touch and then hooks a shot five yards wide with just the keeper to beat.
Then on 53 mins, Smart now playing down the left, sends a lovely curling cross over with his left foot, it is met by a Hartley defender literally inches from the just under the crossbar at the far post, as he gets the slightest of touches before being challenged by Hollamby who it hits and flies out for a goal-kick.
Then on 55 minutes, Hartley create a chance which is well-saved by McAdden, as the shot is curled across the face of the goal.
The next few minutes are reasonably quiet and it’s time for our second substitution as Dean Stow replaces Drew Matthews.
We are back on it again and Smart is again tearing the left back apart and sends in a low cross that is met well by the keeper.
We are back on it again and Smart and Stow combine well for a cross by Stow that is met by a Hartley defender who luckily pushes it past his own post for a corner.
On 73 mins Stow again supports Smart whose cross/shot is saved well by the keeper.
Then on 75 mins another attack, this time down the left and Akers is put through again, but he hesitates far too long and then decides to cut inside and shoots wide of the far post.
On 76 mins Hartley attack down our right, but a good interception by Colm who comes rushing out of his goal.
On 77 mins with Smart back down the right he now has two defenders on him, and he beats both and sort of gets pulled back by the shoulder but carries on and then gets knocked over by another defender and the ref awards a penalty. It’s Deadfield’s turn to take a penalty. He stops halfway through his run-up and then hits a low shot to the left hand-corner, but the delay allows the big keeper to get down and parry it away, Stow gets to the rebound, but can only hit it into the ground, which allows the keeper to get back up and comfortably catch the ball.
We have another chance after a poor tackle on Gerrard, leads to another Hartley booking, that’s’ the 3rd for the evening. The free-kick however is poor.
Akers on 81 mins does some good work along the touchline as he takes on two players, stops, but half loses it but wins it back and then releases I believe Harris down the left.
Then a poor flick on the halfway-line allows Hartley to break down our left, the forward cuts inside and beats Colm low down at the near post. We trail by two goals again 1-3.
Then we concede another one as they break deep into our half down the right the ball is slid out wide and the shot is deflected towards the far post where the Hartley player who has just scored has a tap-in to make 1-4.
We play out the next few minutes with no team really creating a clear chance apart from a Hartley forward on 90 minutes who is allowed to race on despite being five yards offside, however his cross just beats his fellow forward.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 1 – 4 Hartley Wintney
Final thought’s – Some fans state the injury to Aaron Redford changed the state of the game? Whilst others state some of our forwards couldn’t hit a barn-door from 10yds. For the few that were present tonight it is open to your own thought’s and think it was a bit of both to be honest.
My around the League post tomorrow night will add further details of this performance, where we played well for about 20 mins in total.
We have a huge match-up this Saturday at the Camrose as we face fellow relegation strugglers Chesham Utd in the first of two League matches against them month.
As the Two Ronnies always finished with, “It’s goodbye to the League Challenge Cup and it’s goodnight from me”
Match Report by Martin French..