Bet Victor Division One South – Saturday 7th December 2019
Basingstoke Town 3 v 2 Bideford AFC (The Robins) Attendance 241
Where: The SimplyHealth Stadium, Hillier Way, Winchester. S023 7SR
Stoke’s first half display is just enough to earn us third win of the season.
Manager Dan Brownlie with Freddie Gee back and with Aaron Kuhl also available, went with a starting line-up of; 1. Freddie Gee, 2. Aiden Harris, 3. Adam Everiss, 4. Aaron Kuhl 5. Dean Stow (Capt) 6. Scott Armsworth, 7. D’Andre Brown, 8. Ben Cook, 9. Ben Wright, 10. Bradley Wilson, 11. Jordan Edwards
On the bench: Reece Rusher, Mikey Davis, Riccardo Andrady, Ryan Suckling and Harrison Cliff
The game got underway, with Stoke attacking the clubhouse end, and after an initial attack by Stoke, it was the visitors who create the first chance, as they break down the right and force a good save out of Gee, as he palms it out for a corner. From the corner, a Bideford player appears to be five yards on his own, but fortunately hooks his shot back across the goal and we are able to clear the ball to midfield.
Stoke then have the next two minutes of play as we force a corner down the right. Everiss, sends in a dangerous in-swinging corner, which somehow beats everyone and goes out for a goal-kick.
Stoke then break the early deadlock on 13 mins, as young Aiden Harris breaks down the wing and sends in a lovely low-hit cross which finds Bradley Wilson all alone and he slots it home GOAL! Basingstoke Town 1 – 0 Bideford AFC
The next attack if from the Robins, but two good defensive blocks allows us to clear the ball out for a throw-in on the halfway-line.
Stoke then double their lead on 20 mins, as the ball is slid to Ben Wright down on the left wing. Ben takes two touches, then cuts inside on his right and takes another touch, before hitting a 30yd screamer across past the visiting keeper into the far corner of the net. GOAL!! Basingstoke Town 2 – 0 Bideford AFC
Bideford then have another attack, but Gee is again able to save from a headed cross.
It’s all Stoke and it seems to be raining goals today, as on 29 mins, we break down the right and the ball is slipped onto Wilson, who cuts the ball back from just before the by-line, along the 6-yard line, and it’s Wright who is first to it and he drives it past the bewildered keeper into the net. GOAL!!! Basingstoke Town 3 – 0 Bideford AFC
We are back on it just 3 minutes later, as we are winning the 50/50 balls and good work from Edwards as he finds Wright again with acres of space. He turns inside and chips a ball over the Bideford defence, where Wilson races onto it and he clips a right volley that beats the keeper, but flies a foot over the crossbar and into the Btg behind the goal.
Bideford are the next to create some pressure as, a mix-up at the back, forces Gee to come to the rescue as his save rolls out for a corner. The cross initially blocked is put back into the far post where a Bideford header is put wide of the goal.
We are heading into the last five minutes of the first half, and it is clear the Stoke midfield are on top of their game, as Kuhl seems to be everywhere alongside Ben Cook and D’Andre Brown.
Another chance for the visitors is wasted as, a long free-kick is floated deep into our penalty area. Yet again it finds a Bideford head, but again there’s no control and it flies out for a goal-kick.
Then deep into injury-time, we give away free-kick just outside the box. The kick forces another save out of Gee, who again pushes it out for a corner. The kick again causes us a few problems and it’s Everiss who hooks the ball clear, and the referee blows the halftime whistle with the home crowd buzzing.
The second-half gets underway and it’s the visitors who attack first, after a blocked shot, takes an unusual high bounce over our keeper for a corner. The good corner forces Gee to get a hand on the ball, but the ball drops and we hook it out for another corner. This corner from the left-hand side yet again finds a Bideford head which smashes the cross bar and flies out for a goal-kick.
The next ten minutes neither team create a chance of note.
Bideford’s next chance is a free-kick 30yds out, but the kick is comfortably saved by Gee.
We win then winner a corner after good work from Edwards, on 72 mins and it’s his corner-kick that finds Stow about 10yds out, and although he heads it well, it is straight at the keeper.
Stoke make their first change as Reece Rusher enters the game.
Bideford win the next corner, and another dangerous in-swinging corner is plucked out of the air by Gee.
We make our second change with 10 minutes to go as Harrison Cliff replaced Ben Cook.
Then on 85 mins, Bideford finally take one of their chances and they pull a goal back.
We make our 3rd and final change as Ryan Suckling replaces Jordan Edwards.
Bideford are now pressing hard and all we seem able to do is just hoof it out for throw-ins. Bideford have a player who has long throw and time after time he pumps it into the box and we somehow hack it clear.
Then deep into injury-time, the visitors get another goal back as Stoke appear to be panicking at the back, and an open forward slots it past Gee into the net. Stoke 3-2 Bideford.
The visitors are now baying for an equaliser and the referee seems intent on giving them that chance as we head into 7 mins of added time.
Yet another long throw-in is booted away, and finally the referee blows the final whistle, on an almighty battle for the three points.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 3 – 2 Bideford AFC
Back on the road at Evesham next week as we look to win our first away game of the season.
Match Report by Martin French..