Evo-Stick South Premier Division South – 14th August 2018
Basingstoke Town 2 – 1 Beaconsfield Town Attendance 371
With the sun still out and with Captain and barrier jumping Charlie Kennedy taking a seat in the stand with a niggly ankle injury, Jason Bristow’s line-up was as follows; In goal Colm McAdden, a back four of Dean Stow, Shane Hollamby (Capt), Dan Bayliss & George Bennett. The Midfield contained Dan Collier, Michael Atkinson, Sam Deadfield. Upfront was Sam Smart, Sam Argent & Zidan Akers. The bench contained, Jim Orvis, Harry Philby, Jack McKnight, Callum Bunting & Ben Wright.
The game got underway, with Stoke doing the initial pressing, but some heavy tackling from a big Beaconsfield team, brought any early booking for a Rams player from well known referee James Robinson. Stoke had two early attacks, a cross from Smart, that was well cleared and a shot from Smart that the keeper held onto well.
Beaconsfield were far from quiet and had two attacks themselves, both from free-kicks deep in our half, but we were able to clear and we were back on the front foot again with Deadfield and Akers down the left, but neither able to produce anything of note on goal. Then disaster struck on 22 mins as Beaconsfield break, a long cross into our penalty area, and Stead seems to have a clear header and we are one down.
Stoke were back on the attack, but despite a pirouette move from Akers, we were short of real quality in goal. Collier had a shot well blocked in front of goal and a free-kick from Bennett was wasted.
Then on 30 mins, Stoke got the break it needed, as Smart switching to the left, tormented the right back and cut inside and from the edge of the box, smashed a shot towards goal, it took a deflection off a Rams defender and left the keeper helpless as the ball flew into the net. Stoke back on level terms and back attacking.
Stoke produced one more attack of note as Deadfield cut inside and his shot was well saved by the keeper.
Then with half-time approaching, Smart again went on one of his mazy runs, as he twisted one way and then the other, he was in the penalty area and the trailing defender unable to make a clear tackle on Smart, seemed to clip his heels, Smarty went down and the ref pointed to the spot. Before the confusion of who was to take the penalty, Mr Robertson had shown the Rams defender a red card and they were down to 10.
Surprisingly Smart stood up to take the penalty, but the shot was poor and the keeper was able to push it away another missed opportunity as we went into the half still level at 1 – 1.
No changes at half-time as the game gets underway, with Stoke back on the attack, breaks from both Smart and Akers produce crosses into the box that are well held by the keeper.
Then on 53 mins, Akers is put through by Deadfield’s pass, he cuts inside from fully 25yds, curls a well hit-shot into the far corner of the goal. What a goal !! Stoke are deservedly back in the lead 2 – 1.
Stoke seemed far from finished as we attacked numerous times down both flanks, Zidan should have scored when he had a one-on-one with the keeper and the same with Argent who was put through, but his shot was well saved by the keeper.
Stoke make its first change as Orvis replaces Collier. Deadfield then came close to scoring with a header that narrowly went wide.
Two more Stoke substitutions took place as Bunting came on for Argent and Zidan was replaced late by Jack McKnight.
Beaconsfield, were not fully out of the game and there forward should have done better with a free header five minutes from time, but his weak header went well wide.
The ref allowed 3 mins of injury-time, which Stoke were able to play out with fairly comfortable with no drama like Saturday.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 2 – 1 Beaconsfield Town
Final Comments: Stoke this time were able to hold on and really should have had this game wrapped up against a ten-men Beaconsfield. Good performances by Deadfield and the returning Atkinson in midfield with the marauding Smart and Akers jointly with man-of-the-match awards.
A great attendance last night, which I hope we repeat against relegated Poole Town at home Saturday.
Match Report by Martin French..