CSS League Challenge Cup 2nd Round – Tuesday 11th December 2018
Basingstoke Town 2 v 1 Walton Casuals Attendance 141
Apologies for the delay in reporting, but a couple of us had a celebratory drink in the clubhouse, and then we had a chance to have a chat with Martin Kuhl and how he thinks his first 3 games in charge have gone at the club.
Anyway, to the game and on a dry and cool Tuesday night we met Walton Casuals for the first of two meetings at the Camrose in the next 11 days, this time in the League Cup.
Prior to the game it was clear that due to niggling injuries with his central defence, Martin Kuhl would have to make changes to his starting line-up tonight which was; In Goal Colm McAdden, the back four of Jim Orvis, Charlie Kennedy (Capt), Dan Bayliss & Robert Gerrard. The midfield contained Dean Stow, Dan Collier, Sam Deadfield & Zidane Akers, with Sam Smart supporting Ben Wright up front.
On the bench; Philby, Argent, Hunt & C Kennedy.
The game got underway with Basingstoke attacking the clubhouse end and there was very little action by either team in the first few minutes of the game, until Walton break down our left and send a decent cross deep into the heart of the goalmouth which Kennedy heads out for a corner. Nothing comes from the corner.
Basingstoke are struggling to get into the game and Walton have back-to-back corners on 9 & 10 mins, which we struggle to clear each time, but Walton fail to create any real attempt on goal.
On 11 mins and Stoke have their first attack, as Deadfield takes the ball into Walton’s half then slide rules a pass to Sam Smart, who takes the left back on and sends a cross to the far post where Akers is able to get a head to it, but although on target it doesn’t trouble the keeper.
On 17 mins Deadfield feeds Akers down the left, who sends in a cross, which beats everyone, and Smart is able to keep the ball in play and sends a deep cross which is then headed clear to Deadfield who takes two touches before hitting it wide of the far post.
Minutes 19 to 23 there is little action as neither team seem able to string more than two passes together.
On 25 mins, Wright wins a tackle 30yds out from the Walton goal and feeds Deadfield down the left, he looks to cross, but the ball curls close to the crossbar and the keeper has to tip the ball over the bar for a corner. Nothing results from the corner.
On 28 mins we create another chance via Dean Stow down the right, his cross somehow finds Wright at the far post, but he can’t find a proper connection and his shot is comfortably saved by the keeper.
Basingstoke continue to do all the pressing at this point and finally get their rewards although luckily as a clearance by the Walton keeper is charged down by Wright, the ball bounces past the keeper, where Wright follows it up and from 4yds nods it into the net. GOAL – Basingstoke Town 1 – 0 Walton Casuals.
On 34 mins Wright again feeds Smart down the right, but his cross is a poor one and it is cleared upfield to a Walton forward who breaks down our left, but again the Stags are unable to find that final pass and McAdden is out and clears into touch.
On 39 mins and Akers again fails to take a chance he creates, as his one-on-one with the keeper ends up him slotting the ball 3yds wide of the far post.
On 41 mins and it should be the equaliser, as Walton split our defence in half with a sweet pass, but the Walton forward wastes the chance as McAdden makes a great save with his feet and we clear.
The referee blows for half-time with Stoke ahead in the game 1-0.
Basingstoke make a substitution at half-time replacing Ben Wright for Sam Argent.
On 48 mins we win a corner down the right. The corner is poor, but is cleared straight to Deadfield who takes two touches then fires one over the bar.
Walton then miss another opportunity to level it, when the ball falls to a Walton forward who shoots woefully 10yds wide of the goal.
Then on 53 mins Smart creates a gift-wrapped chance for Argent as he crosses to him at the near post who fluffs his finish and puts it wide from 3yds out.
Then controversy by the referee as a Basingstoke attack leaves Gerrard lying in a heap on the floor and he looks injured. Somehow the referee has missed the tackle and the injury as he allows play to continue despite calls for the game to be halted, Walton break over the halfway-line and then switch the play down the left, where the winger cuts inside and feeds a Walton forward who slides his shot past McAdden and the game is tied at 1-1.
The referee then adds further insult to injury as he looks to get the game underway, with our player still lying on the ground 40yds into the Walton’s half. He is finally persuaded to go and check on Gerrard who hobbles off to the touchline.
The dubious equaliser renews Walton’s hopes of getting something out of this game, as they create chances on 62 and 63 mins. The first a cross is headed clear and the rebound is hoofed wide of the post. The second chance is a shot from 25yds, that pulls out a full-length diving save from McAdden and he palms it away, and we are able to clear.
Stoke make their 2nd substitution as Akers is replaced by Philby on 69 mins.
On 72 mins and Kennedy feeds Smart down the left, his left-footed cross forces the Walton defender who send it over his bar for a Stoke corner. The corner fails to produce anything of note.
Basingstoke are back on the attack and create a lovely chance on 74 mins as a cross is half-cleared, the ball falls to Argent who twists and slides a pass to Smart whose shot is past the keeper, but hits the inside of the far post and somehow stays out and Walton are able to clear and they break down deep into our half and the forward is through but can only put the ball wide as McAdden comes out to narrow down the angle.
Then on 75 mins we regain the lead as we again feed Smart the ball down the left he cuts in closer to the goal and his shot is pushed away by the keeper into the path of Argent who beats two Walton defenders to the ball and slams it into the roof of the net. GOAL Basingstoke Town 2 – 1 Walton Casuals.
On 79 mins and the ref has finally found his yellow card as a crunching tackle sends Gerrard to the ground.
On 82 mins a Walton attack takes a deflection wide of the goal and Stoke are able to clear the rebound.
On 84 mins Walton break again, but a perfectly timed tackle by Stow as he puts the ball out, is penalised by the referee. The free-kick is wasted as it fails to reach any Walton player on the edge of our penalty area.
On 87 mins, it’s the linesman’s turn to anger the crowd as a neat Smart move allows him to beat the defender and bring it along the by-line, and send a cross that finds the back of the net. Somehow the linesman has flagged for a goal-kick saying the ball has crossed the line. I’m 5yds from it and no way did it fully go over the line!
We now head into injury-time and Walton miss their final chance as a cross is headed clear to the edge of the box, but the shot come cross flies high and wide over the bar.
The final 2 mins of what seems 4 minutes of injury-time is played harmlessly in Walton’s half and the referee finally blows his whistle to end the game and Stoke are through to the next round.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 2 v 1 Walton Casuals
Final Thought’s – Martin Kuhl’s continues his great start with his 3rd win from 3 games.
Not a great performance by the team, but with the changed line-up we did enough to deserve the win.
Wright scores with his head for the first-time since Gosport away 2 years ago (as far as I can recollect), and also lead the line with more authority tonight and made some decent touches in his 45 minute appearance.
Akers puts in a better shift tonight, but again failed to find the net when needed.
Kennedy filled in well at centre-back tonight, whilst Collier covered Kennedy’s role in midfield.
McAdden made 3 important saves that kept Walton to only one goal on the night.
Onto to Saturday and our trip to Swindon Supermarine and can Martin Kuhl go 4 for 4?
Match Report by Martin French..