Evo-Stick South Premier Division South Saturday 23rd March 2019
Basingstoke Town 2 v 2 Met Police Attendance 436
On an unexpected warm and sunny day the Old Bill turned out in force at the Camrose. Martin Kuhl’s squad choices were bolstered by two new signings plus the debut of goalkeeper Chris Rackley. With the added return of midfielder Sam Deadfield as well, it was just the sad news that forward Sam Argent would miss the game due to a work injury.
The line-up today; 1.Chris Rackley, 2. Dean Stow 3. Adam Everiss, 4.Michael Atkinson 5.Jack Wakely 6. Dan Bayliss, 7. Sam Smart, 8. Harry Pearse, 9. Ben Wright, 10. Sam Deadfield (Capt), 11. Zidane Akers,
On the bench; 12. Orvis 14. Kennedy 15 Duncan 16.Saydee 17. Jourdan
The game got underway with Basingstoke attacking the Clubhouse End and it was the visitors who create the first attack on two minutes as they break down our right and the cross is met by forward Jack Mazzone who stabs it wide of the far post.
Stoke then just a minute later have their first chance after good build-up play by Smart and Deadfield the ball falls to Wright whose turn and volley is hit straight at the keeper.
The Met Police then create another chance on 9 minutes, but the ball is saved on the second attempt by Rackley.
Then on 11 minutes the away side take the lead following another attack, after a cross headed away by the Stoke defence falls to a Met Police midfielder outside the box, who has time to take two touches then shoots, but it hits a Stoke defender and in slow motion the deflected shot curls up and into the far corner of the goalmouth with Rackley beaten by the deflection.
The next ten minutes there’s very little created by either team, which isn’t helped by the young looking referee not allowing any advantage for either team when a player is fouled.
On 22 mins, Akers is fed the ball down the left, he cuts inside and sends a cross that the keeper makes a save in front of Ben Wright.
On 24 mins, it’s pinball around our goalmouth, as a cross is half-headed clear, the ball is put back in and a shot is deflected to another Met forward whose shot is blocked this time by Wakely and the rebound is sliced but hits one of his own players and flies back into the penalty area, where finally we are able to scramble it clear.
On 28 mins the referee gives two free-kicks against Ben Wright in the space of 40 seconds.
Then on 32 mins Akers gets fouled about five yards outside the box. The ref seems to take an age in booking the defender and in this time the ball is moved at least five yards across the pitch, where the ref counts out ten smallish paces. The free-kick by Wright beats the wall but it hits the bottom of near goalpost and rebounds across the face of the goal, where Bayliss slams it in with his right foot. GOAL Basingstoke Town 1 – 1 Met Police.
Then on 34 mins, winger Sam Smart is dragged down about 30 yards out down the right. The keeper catches the shot come cross by Pearse.
Then on 37 mins and following a Met Police player going in the book, it’s Dean Stow’s turn to be shown a yellow card for a late tackle near the Met Police dug-out. The cross from all of 45 yards is met by a visitors head, but fortunately the connection is poor and flies three yards wide.
Two minutes later there are calls for a Met Police penalty as they break down the right the cross is flicked wide of the post. The ref waves away the calls for a foul, handball no one seems to know.
On 43 mins we attack again and Pearse finds an opening and hits a shot that is pushed wide by the keeper. The resulting corner is met by Bayliss, but is comfortably collected by the keeper.
In comes a call for the away team’s tea break and we follow them off down the tunnel with the score tied at 1-1.
With no changes by us the second-half gets underway with Stoke attacking the Town End.
On 49 mins we create an attack down the right the ball is put in the box where the ball falls to Bayliss who hooks the ball wide of the far post.
On 53 mins Stow makes a fine tackle down the right, but the ball unluckily rebounds past him to another Met player who sends in a cross to the far post where the ball is headed clear, but to a Met player who shoots 10 yards high and wide over the bar.
On 61 mins the ref gets his little black book out again as he books their forward Max Blackmore who seems to continue to argue with the referee.
Again the game seems to have gone quiet for both teams, as neither team can force any attacking play of note.
Akers takes the ball down the left and then feeds Smart who beats one player then sends in a cross that is half-cleared to Deadfield 20 yards out, but his shot is blocked wide and Akers has gone down injured and is subsequently replaced two minutes later by new boy Yvan Jourdan.
Then controversy swells around the Camrose as what seems a good tackle by Deadfield is given as a penalty to the away team. Forward Jack Mazzone does not miss penalties and he slots this one home to put us behind again 1-2 with 20 minutes to go.
Talk of a post-match police inquiry on that decision falls quiet.
We then have the better of the next five to six minutes with attempts by Smart (shot blocked), Wright again shot blocked, and finally after good work by Stow and Everiss, who picks up the ball down the right just inside the box, cuts inside and shoots but is comfortably held by the keeper.
On 81 mins the away team win a corner down our right. The corner is confidently punched away by Rackley.
Then on 82 mins the away team then has the chance to bury the game and the penalty inquiry as a good attacking move allows Blackmore time to put it away, but he slots it wide.
However, if you come down the Camrose you could be in for a big surprise as on 85 mins, the ball seems to be harmlessly floated into the goalmouth where Ben Wright is first on it and with the ball and him moving away from the goal, somehow Ben is able to flick it back with the outside of his right foot back across the goal and past the keeper. Calls for offside are waived away. GOAL Basingstoke Town 2 – 2 Met Police.
Then on 88 mins it seems the ref ignores calls for a foul on Smart down the right and in front of the linesman he gives a foul against Sam in favour of the left back. From the resulting free-kick the ball falls to a Met Police player whose shot is pushed away by Rackley.
The four minutes of injury time are up and the ref blows the final whistle and a much needed point earned by Basingstoke send the home crowd happy.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 2 v 2 Met Police
Final thought’s – A good all-round performance by Basingstoke against a well-trained Met Police team.
Before the game I think our management would have taken a point and think we battled far better coming from behind twice today.
No obvious standout performances by us, but Wright with a goal and sort of assist (off the post) did well up front today.
The point keeps us in 18th place with Gosport slipping a further point behind us in 20th.
Up next is another tough match as we travel to Wimborne next Saturday.
Match Report by Martin French..