Evo Stick South Premier Division South Saturday 22nd December 2018
Basingstoke Town 2 v 1 Walton Casuals Attendance 287
Despite the heavy amount of rain that had fallen throughout the week the club ground-staff have worked hard on the pitch to make it playable for today’s game.
It seems Manager Martin Kuhl did not have a full squad to select from for today’s game against Walton Casuals, but his starting line-up he went with was; In goal Colm McAdden, the back four of Jim Orvis, Harry Philby, Charlie Kennedy (Capt) & Drew Matthews. The midfield contained new boy Harry Pearse, Dan Collier, Sam Deadfield & Zidane Akers, with Sam Smart up front with Sam Argent.
On the bench; Hollamby, Hunt, Wright & Bayliss.
With Basingstoke Town kicking off attacking the Clubhouse End and in the very first minute, the ball is pushed through to a chasing Akers, who pulls out of a 50/50 challenge with the keeper. Two fans on the sideline next to me make it clear they are not happy with that lack of effort.
On 4 mins Dan Collier makes a good tackle just inside our own half then dwells on it too long and loses it, and Walton break it’s pushed out to the right wing, where Walton new signing Cole Brown has time to take the ball 10yds closer to goal and shoot, but his shot from 25yds is wild and flies 10yds over the bar.
On 7 mins and the first real touch of new boy Harry Pearse as he is fed the ball from Deadfield, Pearse takes it down the left, he sends over a decent cross, but no Stoke player can get a touch on it and it rolls out for a goal-kick.
On 9 mins we win our second corner of the game, but the ball is cleared away, to the edge of the box, where the ball is slipped to Deadfield inside the box, he takes a touch then turns sharply and shoots, but he doesn’t make proper contact and his shot is easily saved by the new (reserve) Walton keeper?
On 11 mins Walton are given a free-kick 35 yds out from our goal, the cross is sent in and a Stags player gets a header that loops on to the roof of the net and out for a goal-kick.
Then on 16 mins Walton break down our left to the byline and whips over a cross that McAdden is able to get a decent hand to and pushes it clear.
The next five minutes, Stoke edge the play, but can’t an attack of any note.
Then on 24 mins we break open the scoring, as the ball is fed though to Argent 20yds with his back to goal, he touches it back to I believe Deadfield, who slides it wide past Akers, to Pearse who runs on to it and smashes it across the keeper and into the far corner of the goal. GOAL Basingstoke Town 1 – 0 Walton Casuals.
Stoke continue on be on the front foot, but a shot from Smart is well blocked on 28 mins.
Then on 31 we are pegged back as a cross into our 6yd box causes havoc, we can’t seem to clear it and a Stags player touches across the goal-mouth and from 5yds out a Stags forward slides it past McAdden into the net. Basingstoke Town 1 – 1 Walton Casuals.
However, our heads far from drop and we are straight back on the attack two minutes later, Deadfield slips a beautiful pass down the right for the sprinting Sam Smart, who just outpaces the nippy left back, the cross takes a deflection off the defender and loops dangerously along Walton’s 6yd line. Akers is first to the ball takes one touch and shoots, but the ball is blocked out for a corner.
The corner is decent, and the keeper can’t clear it, but it’s only half cleared the ball is pushed back into the box and a Stoke player fires a shot at the keeper whose diving save to his left pushes it away, to Smart who from an acute angle thumps it back into the net. GOAL Basingstoke Town 2 – 1 Walton Casuals.
The Walton players are unhappy, but I was inline with the goal and there was nothing wrong with it. A Walton player goes in the book for complaining.
On 39 mins we are back on it again and Pearse feeds Akers, who takes it past a defender down the left, he then neatly slips it inside past another player but just can’t get to the ball before the keeper is out to clear away.
On 43 mins we have our next attack, this time Argent just can’t get a touch on the cross, but the clearance falls to Akers about 25yds who hits a decent shot, but it’s a few yards wide of the left-hand post.
The referee blows the half-time whistle and a large contingent of young and old fans head for the clubhouse.
Half-time; Basingstoke Town 2 – 1 Walton Casuals
No changes as the game gets back underway and Stoke are attacking the Town End.
Not sure what was put in the half-time drink, as neither team seem to be on it for the first few minutes of the game.
Then Stoke on 52 mins create a half chance for Deadfield, whose shot is blocked away.
On 55 mins and Matthews wins two tackles in succession and sends the ball down the left to Smart.
On 57 & 59 mins two attacks by Walton, the first is a shot from 25ys that rolls harmlessly to McAdden, then a decent move down our left and the Stags player cuts inside but then smashes it high and wide.
Then on 63 mins and a world class save by the Walton keeper, as the ball from a throw-in down the main stand side is fed to Argent he takes a touch and hits it, only for the keeper who makes a finger-tipped save as dives full length in the air to his left and it goes out for a corner. The corner is poor and is easily cleared.
Then on 66 mins decent work by Smart and Orvis down the right allows Orvis to send a neat cross along the face of the goal-mouth but no-ones there to take advantage of the chance.
Then on 68 mins and McAdden makes a comfortable save from a weak shot.
On 71 mins, McAdden makes a double save, as Walton break and there’s a shot from inside the penalty box, Colm’s diving save can only push it away and from the rebound the ball is hit back in the air and Colm is up off the ground and catches the ball.
Red card, no chance from the ref as Akers is brought down right on the edge of the box. After about what seems two minutes, the ref finally produces a yellow for the Stags defender. The free-kick with the wall no more than 7yds away is poor and hits the bottom of the wall and is cleared away.
Akers is still limping and is it time for a substitution. However, with very little on the bench, Akers has to carry on.
On 77 and 78 mins, Stoke create two attacks, the first is Smart down the right whose cross is blocked out he then feeds Deadfield whose shot is half-blocked, and it rolls away and is cleared. Then from a throw-in down the left, Argent receives the ball just inside the penalty box, he tries to twist and turn, but can’t shake his defender, then feeds Pearse just outside the box, but the shot is unfortunately poor and high over the bar.
On 82 mins and a real threatening attack by Walton, as a decent attacking down the left allows a Walton forward to cut inside the box from the left and drills a shot that McAdden pushes away and a Stoke defender is able to hack it clear.
Finally, on 83 Akers is able to limp off and is replace by Shane Hollamby, who will be in his more attacking role for the rest of the game.
We seem to have weathered anything that Walton can throw at us and we are starting to control the ball in their half.
Then on 88 mins we don’t want to finish the game off, as a cross from Smart, falls to Argent his first shot is blocked he then slides it to Deadfield who slams it over the bar.
Hollamby goes in the book as we enter the 90th minute for a late tackle on a Walton defender.
Walton have one more chance from a corner, but we are able to clear it.
We then play out a couple more minutes as we enter 4 mins of injury-time.
Finally, the ref blows the final whistle and sends the Basingstoke fans home with a win for Christmas.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 2 – 1 Walton Casuals
Final Thought’s – Another win for Martin Kuhl and 3 needed points in the league pushes us up 3 places into 15th in the league.
No sign of Stow, Gerrard, Wright named on the teamsheet but standing on the terraces. Bayliss?
There was no winner of the Golden Goal, so at the Farnborough game on new years day, the prize money will be £60.
We move onto Gosport Borough on Boxing Day.
One sad note is the confirmed departure of Harry Philby from the club for personal reasons. I thought Harry had made a promising start to his career with Basingstoke and looked like a solid team player for the future. I wish him all the best and would love to see him back in a Blue shirt sometime.
Match Report by Martin French..