Isthmian South Central Division – 3rd January 2022
Basingstoke Town 2 v 2 Westfield Attendance 824
Where: Winklebury Sports Complex, Winklebury Way, Basingstoke. RG23 8BF
Stoke drop two places in a less than impressive 2-2 draw at home to Westfield
Today’s line against Westfield was; 1. Paul Strudley, 2. Lloyd Snell, 3. James Haworth, 4. Robert Sheridan, 5. Nathan Smart, 6. Anton Rodgers, 7. George Reid, 8. McKoy Palmer, 9. Conor Lynch, 10. Stefan Brown, 11. Simon Dunn (Capt),
On the bench: Jack French, Daniel Morrissey, Daryl Wollers, Jon Boardman & Joel Halliday
Referee – Robert Ablitt
The game got underway with Stoke attacking the car-park end in the first half, and we lose the ball within seconds and Westfield, swing the ball out to the right wing, who take it deeper into our half before swinging a cross over into the 6yd box and Westfield’s No.6 flicks a header past Robert Sheridan and it falls to a wide open Westfield forward, who slots the ball home and Stoke go behind inside the first minute (Stoke 0 – 1 Westfield).
Westfield conitnue to attack over the next few minutes, as we fail to be able to hold onto the ball, which is made worse by some poor passing out from the back.
Westfield continue to push forward using the space they seem to have down the left wing and two crosses in a minute are hooked clear. Then on 10 minutes again following another break down the left the cross is met by a Westfield player who taps the ball home, but the linesman has flagged for offside.
Although Stoke are starting to get in the game, we create our first half chance on 15 minutes as the ball is pushed through to Connor Lynch, but the keeping anticipates the pass and dives on the ball just inside his penalty area.
On 17 minutes we attack again through Lynch whose cross from the right is met by the keeper.
We then again seem to struggle to clear the ball, as Lloyd Snell, gets turned once again, but Nathan Smart come to his rescue.
Then on 24 minutes, the visitors double their lead, as they win the ball just inside our half and send a 30yd diagonal cross into our penalty area and Sheridan loses the flight of the ball, and their No.6 Sam Evans is first on it, and he brings the ball down, takes a touch then side-foots it easily into the corner of the net (Stoke 0-2 Westfield).
Stoke have their first real shot on the goal, on 28 minutes as we win a free kick down the left touchline just inside their half. The kick is headed clear back to Anton Rodgers who takes a touch then hits a low right-foot shot, that goes through the crowd of players and forces their keeper to push the ball away, and Westfield clear.
Another attack by Westfield a minute later from a free-kick just outside our box flies across the face of our goal, with their No.2 failing to get what should have been an easy finish.
The crowd are getting restless as Stoke continue to struggle and this is not helped by some poor refereeing decisions.
It is still Westfield who push forward and we seem second to the ball in most challenges as we move into the last five minutes of the first half.
We then have two attacks in quick succession, as first we push the ball down the left and George Reid crosses the ball as it reaches the by-line, but it flies harmlessly past the goal. McKoy Palmer is then fed the ball down the right, cuts inside on his left, but his shot is blocked clear.
In the final minute of the half they again cut down the left, and their No.10 easily beats Snell as he cuts inside on his right foot and then sends a cross that Sheridan hooks out for a corner. Nothing comes from the corner and we clear towards the halfway line and a few second later an error by their defender allows us to win a corner. The first kick is straight out for another and the referee blows for halftime, before the kick is taken.
Halftime – Basingstoke Town 0 v 2 Westfield
The game gets back underway. second-half and literally within seconds they break down our right and the shot is saved by Strudley.
On 49 mins we win a free-kick just outside their penalty area, as Lynch is brought down. The Anton Rodgers kick although beats the wall, but beats the near post and flies out for a goal-kick.
On 52 minutes McKoy Palmer goes in the book for what seems a perfectly good tackle, as a Westfield player seems injured.
On 55 mins although we seem to have more control of the game, Westfield’s Sam Evans is sent through, but his shot from the edge of the penalty area is pushed out for a corner. We clear from the corner, but again lose control of it again.
We are still looking a lot better this half, but Westfield seem well organised at the back.
There are then claims for a penalty has a shot from Conor Lynch hits a defender’s arm, but the referee waves play-on.
One of the improvement’s in the second-half is Snell being pushed in his rightful role on the right wing.
Stoke make their first change as a disappointing George Reid is replaced by Jack French (62 mins).
A minute later we then attack down the left and a cross from Haworth is met by Stefan Brown whose shot bounces of the outside of the near post and bounces away, and Westfield push it out for a corner.
From the corner the ball is flicked on then bounces down to Lynch who slots it home. GOAL ! Basingstoke Town 1 v 2 Westfield (Lynch 65 mins )
Stoke continue to press forward, and we win another free-kick about 25yds out on the right. The kick this time from Palmer hits the wall and bounces up in the air, where Haworth heads it back into the box, where Brown gets a flick on it, but it flies over the bar.
Westfield are being pushed back further and further, and this allows Snell to push forward with the ball, and he takes his defender on turns him one then cuts inside and lets a low left-foot shot that has the keeper beaten as it finds the bottom corner of the net. GOAL !! Basingstoke Town 2 v 2 Westfield (Snell 73 mins )
We now look like the team to go on to get the winner, but the game is stopped after a nasty tackle on Simon Dunn and the Westfield defender goes in the book.
But Westfield are not finished and a simple a two-pass move sets them clear and Strudley once a game comes to our rescue as he makes the save.
Stoke are back on it on 82 mins and this time it is Dunn down the left wing, and he sends over a low cross, that Brown meets but with the goal in front of him, puts it wide.
Westfield seem to have found a second-wind and they push forward and force another save from Strudley in goal, and then win back-to-back corners, which we manage to clear.
From the last corner it is clear Lloyd Snell is injured and is replaced by Daryl Wollers (87 mins).
We move into injury-time and Smart pushes towards the penalty area, he is hacked down and another Westfield player goes in the book. The kick by Rodgers is overhit and Westfield are able to clear.
Now in the 93rd minute we win another corner and from the kick the ball flies in the air and Lynch jumps with the keeper and heads it, and the ball bounces into the goal, and as the keeper goes down, the referee blows for a free-kick and the goal is disallowed.
As the game gets back underway from the free-kick the referee blows the final whistle.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 2 v 2 Westfield
Lynch 65 mins, Snell 73 mins Hayden-Smith 1 min, Evans 24 mins
Well two games in a row, we start with little control and energy, but this time we fail to gain the winner. Depending on your view, it is either a point gained or two points dropped.
We travel into Surrey and to the outskirts of Reigate to take on South Park this coming Saturday with a 3pm kick-off.