Southern Premier league match – Saturday 14th April 2018
Basingstoke Town 2 – 0 Dunstable Town Attendance 310
Speaking to Terry before the start of the game, we were down to our basic 11 players from the squad, who would be supported by 5 U21’s players on the bench. This I could understand until I found out that certain players were choosing to waltz off on holiday etc. That is simply not acceptable!
Anyway, TB’s line-up was McAdden, Wohlfiel, Demuria, Bayliss & Bennett, in midfield Collier, Atkinson, Deadfield & McKnight. Up top was Smart & Bunting.
The bench consisted of Long, Martin, Rodgers, Richardson & Harris.
Finally, for once, we had a dry and sunny Saturday afternoon as Stoke kicked off against relegation fighting Dunstable.
It took a while for either team to get going, until the 5th minute, when we won a free-kick 30 yds out. Unfortunately, the kick was over hit and went out for a goal-kick.
On 10 mins, we attacked again, but Wohlfiel & Smart’s decent move was ended with a poor cross, which was easily cleared.
Minutes seemed to tick away as neither team could breech either teams defence. In fact it seemed more like a training session for us, whilst the Blues seemed to be scraping together any form of defence that they could.
This was not the best advert for non-league football, but it brightened up on 25 mins as we won back-to-back corners, but Dunstable were able to clear.
Smart breaks on 28 mins, but his shot come cross is hit to deep and goes out for a goal-kick.
On 33 mins later following a nice move Deadfield enters the Dunstable penalty area then goes down. There are shouts for a penalty from the Btg, but it wasn’t which is then made worse by the referee booking both Deadfield for a kick out and the defender for his retaliation.
Still nothing of merit by either team, until Stoke win a free kick on 45 mins. It’s put deep into the box, the ball bounces around, but Dunstable hook it away.
Then a minute later, a long ball over the top finds Deadfield, who controls it, takes one to many touches and as he sets to shoot from 7yds out, a Blues defender has nicked the ball out for a corner. Nothing comes from the corner and the ref blows for half-time.
Two minutes into the second half and McAdden is brought into the game as he dives down to his left to make his first save of the match.
Stoke spend the next four minutes in the final third of Dunstable’s half and on 54 minutes we go ahead as a McKnight corner is met by Dan Bayliss. His header appears to be blocked, but still rolls over the line as Stoke take the lead.
57 mins in and Stoke attack again, Smart breaks and his cross beats everyone as it flashes across the goalmouth. All it needed was a touch by Deadfield or Bunting.
A minute later, the ball is bouncing around Dunstable’s goal-mouth, but McKnight’s shot is a yard wide of the post.
Stoke are back on it again, this time down the left, as Deadfield finds space to shoot but the keeper is out well and narrows down the angle and makes the save.
On 63 mins Stoke attack again through Smart, his cross finds Bunting, who does a quick one two with Deadfield, who feeds McKnight, but his shot is blocked out for a corner. Demuria wins the header but fails to make any real connection.
Dunstable attack on 68 mins, but their cross is poor and is straight to McAdden.
Stoke make their 1st substitution as Luke Richardson replaces Dan Collier.
Further Stoke attacks fail to trouble the Dunstable keeper.
Bayliss receives a head injury on 71 minutes after a late challenge on him. His return on the field also allows Stoke t o make their second substitution as Harry Long replaces Michael Atkinson.
On 76 mins Dunstable attack, but McAdden is out to the feet of the attacker, he initially blocks the ball and then dives on the loose ball.
The game is drifting again as we move into the last 10 minutes of the match. Stoke are on in control but fail to create a clear-cut chance.
Then on 89 minutes the match is settled as Richardson & Long create a cross for Bunting who from four yards out slots it home with ease. Stoke are two-up.
As we drift into injury-time Dunstable have a shot on target but McAdden makes a comfortable save.
Stoke have one final break down the right, but Smart fails to find a Blue shirt and the keeper gathers it, as the ref blows for full-time.
Finals Score: Basingstoke Town 2 – 0 Dunstable Town
Final thoughts; One of McAdden’s quietest games all-season, as Stoke although not brilliant were always in control of the game.
Man-of-the-Match I assume goes to Dan Bayliss for his goal and a solid all-round defensive performance.
Onto Tuesday night as Bishop Stortford visit the Camrose.
Match Report by Martin French