Match Report: Basingstoke Town 3 – 2 AFC Totton Monday 28th August 2023

Southern League Premier South Division – Monday 28th August 2023
Basingstoke Town 3 v 2 AFC Totton Attendance 1003
Where: Winklebury Sports, Winklebury Way, Basingstoke. RG23 8BF
Dan Brownlie’s line-up had three changes from Saturday’s win at Didcot and was: 1. Paul Strudley, 2. Markus Johnson-Schuster, 3. Callum Winchcombe, 4. D’Andre Brown (Capt) 5. Nathan Smart, 6. William Upton, 7. Bradley Wilson, 8.Luis Le Paih, 9. Dan Rowe, 10. Ben Cook, 11. George Reid
On the bench: Kai Hobbs, Marcio Neves, Josh De Lacy Turner, Morrison Hashii & James Clark
Referee – Thomas Staten

This Bank Holiday encounter got underway against AFC Totton who sat seven places above Stoke prior to kick-off, with Stoke attacking the railway end.

It was a very cagey start by both teams at the start, as both teams tried to size each other,
Stoke’s first attack on goal was on ten minutes as George Reid on the edge of the penalty area, found some space to shoot, but his shot is saved down low at the far right-hand post.

Totton have the next attack on eighteen minutes, as a Totton forward finds space, but his shot is comfortably save by Pay Strudley in goal. This is followed up by a header that flies comfortably wide two minutes later.

Stoke still looking to break down the Totton defence who are winning any aerial challenge.
Then on twenty-five minutes, Bradley Wilson, then finds space as he cuts inside on his right foot and lets fly a screamer that smashes against the bar and rebounds away safe.

A heavy challenge on Ben Cook goes unpunished two minutes later.
Callum Winchcombe and then Billy Upton win 50/50 tackles to put a stop to Totton attacks.

Now past the half-hour, Stoke are starting to assert more pressure on the visitors, as a cross is headed just wide by Luis Le Paih.
Then a through ball finds Reid, who slides it onto Dan Rowe, who takes a touch then gets pulled down by the Totton defender who goes in the book. We make Totton pay for the foul, as Reid’s free-kick beats the wall, and falls to Dan Rowe, who knocks it home from close range. GOAL! Basingstoke Town 1 – 0 AFC Totton (Rowe 39 mins)

We are now in added-time in the first-half and a silky run by Le Paih then finds Wilson, who wins a corner down on the left. From the corner, Nathan Smart wins the ball as he heads the ball towards goal, but it is comfortably saved by the keeper.

We are now in the fifth minute of added-time and Totton win a free-kick just outside the box, which sees Winchcombe go in the book. The kick flies to the far post where a Totton player dives down low and heads the ball past Strudley in goal. Basingstoke 1-1 AFC Totton.
The game restarts and ten seconds later the referee blows the halftime whistle.

Halftime – Basingstoke Town 1 v 1 AFC Totton
The game gets back underway, with no changes in the Stoke line-up, and the first of many Billy Upton interceptions gives Totton a corner, which we defend comfortably.

We then break into the Totton half and Wilson finds Ben Cook who takes a couple of touches, and then hits a shot that takes the keeper by surprise as it finds the bottom left-hand corner of the net. GOAL!! Basingstoke Town 2 – 1 AFC Totton (Cook 49 mins)

However our celebrations are cut shot as a minute a Totton forward receives the ball, and neatly turns and hits a shot that flies into the far corner of the net. Basingstoke 2-2 AFC Totton

Stoke’s next attack involves D’Andre Brown but his cross is within the keeper’s reach who makes the catch.

Totton are back on it again, but good work by Marcus Johnson-Schuster, puts the ball out for a corner. Stoke defend the corner.
Totton look to come forward which seems to excite the small contingent of Totton fans behinds the goal, as Totton look to take the lead, but more good work from Upton, Smart and Winchcombe, block the Totton shots.

Stoke make their first change on 69 minutes, with James Clark replacing Luis Le Paih.
Stoke push forward and a crossfield pass seems to flying out only for Wilson to get a head to it as he diverts it back across the face of the goal, where Reid knocks it home GOAL!!! Basingstoke Town 3 – 2 AFC Totton (Reid 70 mins)

Stoke then look to add a fourth but he neat passing move between Wilson & Reid, is blocked by a Totton defender who allows the ball to roll out for a goal-kick.
Stoke then make their second change with Kai Hobbs replacing Dan Rowe (76 mins)

Totton are pushing forward again but Stoke are chasing every ball, and getting in the way of any crosses by Totton.
Kai Hobbs then seems to out-jump two Totton players as he heads the ball clear.
Totton are still pushing forward, but Upton makes the first of how many timely blocks or interceptions.

We have a little bit of play just before the end of normal time, but the Totton keeper makes a comfortable save.

The referee has indicated an additional seven minutes of added-time! Not sure where he got that from, but Stoke are batting with Clark and Cook putting an end to  further Totton attacks.
Totton win corners on 93 & 94 mins, but Stoke are upto the challenge once again.

We make our final change on 97 minutes with Morrison Hashii replacing George Reid.
We are now in the ninth minute of added-time, as the referee has seen enough and blows the final whistle on Stoke’s third win in a row.

Full-time Score : Basingstoke Town 3 v 2 AFC Totton
Rowe 39 mins, Cook 49 mins, Reid 70 mins,   Magri 45+5 mins, Stanley 50mins

Match Thought’s
What an all-round fighting performance against a good Totton side. with every player putting in 100%. The back four were superb, and another goal from Reid secures the three points.
Three wins in a row pushes us up to eighth.
Up Next:
We switch away from the league to hopefully the first of a number of FA Cup encounters, as we head down the road this Saturday, to take on another AFC club, this time step five AFC Stoneham

Match Report by Martin French..