Isthmian South Central Division – Saturday 5th November 2022
Basingstoke Town 2 v 1 Sutton Common Rovers Attendance 402
Where: Winklebury Sports Complex, Winklebury Way, Basingstoke. RG23 8BF
Stoke beat stubborn Sutton Common Rovers 2-1 to get back to winning ways
Dan Brownlie’s much reduce squad left us with a line-up of : 1. Mark Scott, 2. Ben Mason, 3. Callum Winchcombe, 4. Michael Atkinson (Captain), 5. Scott Armsworth, 6. Billy Upton, 7. George Reid, 9. Ezio Touray, 10. James Clark, 11. George Reid, 19. Sam Argent
On the bench: Stefan Brown, Marcio Neves & Nathan Smart
Referee – Chris Williams
With the winter rain set in for the day, game 12 of Stoke’s league campaign got underway with us attacking the railway end and Stoke attack from the start as we move forward down the right through Reid as he beats his defender, but his cross is blocked and Rovers clear.
Then in the third minute, we come forward again and the ball is fed out to the right where the ball is clipped across and it’s Argent from seven yards who gets his foot to it and knocks it past the keeper. GOAL ! Basingstoke Town 1 v 0 Sutton Common Rovers (Argent)
Stoke attack a minute later through Reid again, but he appears to get fouled, but the referee waves away calls for a foul.
Rovers then attack down our left and win a throw-in, which means the same as last year, as a Rovers player can throw it into our six yard box. This time we are able to head it clear.
Then in the 11th minute it is Stoke who create another chance again, as Ben Mason finds Reid on the right wing, who cuts inside and goes past two defenders and hits a left cross from just inside the penalty area, that the keeper can’t hold, as he pushes it away from the goal, but Argent is first on it and tries to turn the ball back to the goal, but a defender is able to block it and the keeper falls on the rebound.
Rovers have the next couple of minutes which results in a corner, which we head clear, but they win another throw-in, which we again we head clear form inside our penalty area.
Then in the 18th minute it is Ezio who wins the ball in Rovers half and he turns and takes the ball down the right and sends a lovely ball across the face of the goal, where Bradley Wilson runs onto the ball and hits the ball clean over the bar from seven yards. That should have been Stoke’s second.
Stoke win a free-kick a minute later, which is taken by James Clark, and it is Scott Armsworth who is first to it, but his header flies over the bar.
Stoke create the next chance as Clark again sets up the move from midfield as he find Wilson out on the left, who takes the ball inside on his right and hits a shot that is comfortably saved by the keeper.
The referee makes the first of numerous bookings, as he books a Rovers player for a tackle on Reid.
Rovers have a dangerous attack from a free-kick deep into our penalty area, but we are able to hook the ball clear.
A minute later Argent goes in the book for an innocuous tackle on the halfway line.
Rovers continue to attack and win another corner, which is delayed as a scuffle results in a Rovers player and Armsworth going in the book. The corner is knocked out for a throw. This time the throw is headed onto the far post, who knocks it back and Rovers are first to it and it takes a slight deflection as they knock the ball home. Stoke 1 – 1 Rovers.
Then in the 37th minute, the referee has gone over to our bench, and shows someone a yellow card.
Stoke create another a chance, which results in the Argent getting a shot away from close range which their keeper saves.
Into the last few minutes of the first half, Rovers create another opening, which results in a shot from ten yards, that Mark Scott saves.
Good work from the Michael Atkinson in midfield, as wins the balls and sends the ball out to Wilson, who sends the ball across to Reid on the right wing, who takes the ball then hits a shot that the Rovers No.5, somehow gets in the way of and puts it out for a corner, The corner results in Ezio winning the header which rolls wide of the goal.
Rovers from another free-kick create another chance which results in a shot that rebounds out for a corner. Rovers are first to the kick, but the header flies over the bar.
We play three minutes of added-time, before the referee blows the halftime whistle.
Halftime – Basingstoke Town 1 v 1 Sutton Common Rovers
The game gets back underway with Stoke attacking the car park end, and it’s Stoke who are straight on it, as Clark finds Argent who slides the ball to Ezio, who then finds Mason on the right, who takes the ball into the Rovers penalty area and thunders a shot from an acute angle that the Rovers keeper is able to punch clear.
A minute later we win a free-kick about 30 yards out on the left. The kick from Clark finds Armsworth who has a free-header, but his glanced header flies past the far right-hand post.
Stoke continue to press and from a corner, Roves look to break and Clark goes in the book for a late tackle.
Another fine move sends Ezio into the penalty area on the left, and he hits a shot that beats the keeper, but also slides past the far post.
Stoke are back on it a minute later, and it’s a shot this time from Wilson, that the keeper palms away, only for Callum Winchcombe to follow-up and hits a shot that is going in until Ezio in an effort to touch it home falls on it and prevents it from going over the line. The Rovers left back then also falls on the ball and in an effort to clear it, knocks it into the net. The referee takes a few seconds before awarding the goal. GOAL !! Basingstoke Town 2 v 1 Sutton Common Rovers (Tanton OG)
Stoke continue to press forward over the next few minutes, which results in a shot from Wilson that flies wide of the goal.
Rovers have two attacks over the next few minutes, but Atkinson and then Upton make fine clearances.
Just past the hour we break down the left through a good pass from Winchcombe to Ezio, who finds Wilson who hits a shot that the Rovers keeper who seems unable to catch anything, palms the shot away.
Rovers win a corner, which results in a header from a Rovers player which is blocked on the line and then kicked clear.
Stoke make their first change with Stefan Brown replacing Sam Argent (69 mins).
Rovers create the next attack, but their shot from the edge of the penalty area flies high and wide over the bar.
On 73 mins, more good work from Reid, who takes the ball from inside our half, goes past two defenders and slides the ball to Ezio, who decides to shoot from all of 35 yards, and the keeper receives a cheer from behind the goal, after he actually catches the ball.
Stoke on 75 mins make their second change with Marcio Neves replacing Bradley Wilson.
Very little to note over the next five minutes as we head into the last ten minutes of the game.
Another strange decision by the referee has Winchcombe going in the book for a perfectly good tackle.
Rovers win a corner, which results in the ball bouncing around our six-yard box, before we are able to clear.
We make our final change as Michael Atkinson is replaced by Nathan Smart (85 mins).
Then on 89 mins, Rovers attack from a throw-in and fortunately the shot from 8 yards is partially blocked and the balls rolls safely to Scott.
Then in the second minute of added-time, there is a confrontation between the two team benches, which is joined by most of the players, and after two minutes of the refereeing deciding what to do, he sends both team managers off. Ezio Touray also receives a yellow card.
The game finally gets back underway and Rovers attack, but the linesman flags for offside.
Now eight minutes in added-time, Rovers are again in our penalty area, but the cross come shot is held by Scott.
Finally in the eleventh minute of added-time, the referee blows the fulltime whistle and Stoke have won all three points.
Full-time Score: Basingstoke Town 2 v 1 Sutton Common Rovers
Argent 3 mins, Tanton og 53 mins Surmon 34 mins
The return of Argent was a good move as his presence alongside Ezio worked well. Lots of effort by all the players with George Reid being my man-of-the-match for his tireless work in both attack and defence today.
Just to confirm our goals were scored by Sam Argent and an own goal by the Rovers No.3.
Hopefully no more injuries have been picked up and we can get one or two players back for next week.
We are back on the road next Saturday (12th) to a new team in our league, Merstham who as of today sit bottom of the table.
Match Report by martin French..