Evo Stick South Division One South 17th August 2019
Basingstoke Town 3 – 4 Barnstaple Town Attendance 268
Where: The Simplyhealth Stadium, Hillier’s Way, Winchester
Another season, another loss and a few worries!
Martin Kuhl’s went into the season opener without the services of Jordan Edwards, but a flurry of pre-game signings resulting in a line-up of 1.Freddie Gee, 2. Morgan Toney-Green 3. Adam Everiss, 4. Dean Stow, 5. Kraig Noel-McLeod, 6. Joe Hancott, 7. Reece Rusher, 8. Ben Cook, 9. Ben Wright, 10. Claudio Herbert, 11. Harrison Cliff
On the bench; Aiden Harris, Andrew Charsley, D’Andre Brown, Riccardo Andrady and Mikey Davis
With a nice sunny afternoon, Stoke’s season got underway and were the team making with the initial possession with attacks down both flanks, but both resulting in comfortable clearances by Barnstaple (The Barum).
On 7 minutes a free-kick just to the right of the goal and 25yds out was initially blocked, but the follow-up cross flew past the face of the goal, with no Stoke player able to get a touch.
On 12 mins after a half-chance squandered by the away team, Claudio Herbert smashed a shot from 30yds which flew over the bar.
Stoke then on 19 mins opened their account for the season after good work from roving right back Morgan Toney-Green and Dean Stow, who found Reece Rusher just inside the box, who with his back to the goal, flicked the ball up, then turned and fired a fierce volley past the outstretched dive of the keeper. GOAL! Basingstoke Town 1 – 0 Barnstaple Town.
On 22 mins following another decent attack by the Barum, we broke down the right then switched the ball to Adam Everiss, who fires a shot that is comfortably saved by the keeper.
On 27 mins it’s all level as Barnstaple strike from a corner that we fail to clear.
Stoke then put more pressure on the Barnstaple goal but apart from a shot that flies wide and a blocked shot from Herbert just before the break, but it’s all square at half-time.
The second-half gets underway with no changes by us and disaster strikes as a cross on 47 mins across the face of the goal finds a Barum forward who forces the ball home and we go behind 1-2.
This seems to initially reignite the offence and further good attacks down the result force Barnstaple on the back foot.
On 55 mins we have the chance of levelling the game as another promising move puts Rusher through, who beats the challenge of the Barum defender then tries to round the keeper, but the keeper is just able to grab the ball with one hand and the chance goes missing.
What happened there then as on 60 minutes following a penalty appeal inside the Barum box allows them to break and the forward goes untouched for 40yds, even having time to tee it up on his right foot, as he slots past our keeper and we now full two goals behind 1 – 3.
However, Stoke are back on it again and pull a goal back just two minutes later (62), following a corner that falls to Ben Wright who smashes it into the net from 5yds. GOAL!! Basingstoke Town 2 – 3 Barnstaple Town.
Basingstoke make two quick changes replacing Harrison Cliff with D’Andre Brown and Aiden Harris for Adam Everiss.
The next 10 mins sees the visiting team again on the backfoot, but also able to break and create problems everytime they enter the final third of the pitch.
Following another penalty appeal and another cross that hits the top of the bar, Barnstaple put a two-goal lead back into the game on 76 mins, as they break, and a shot apparently hits our defender and then finds the corner of the net.
Down 4 -2 we are still competitive, but with the incessant obvious time-wasting by the away team, time is slipping away, but then on 80 mins following a mix-up in the Barum goalmouth the ball in an attempt to be cleared flies off Wright from 2yds and finds the back of the net. GOAL!!! Basingstoke Town 3 – 4 Barnstaple Town.
Literally a minute later Barnstaple attack again and a challenge between Gee and a Barnstaple forward stops the game as both receive treatment. Gee finally gets up, but it’s clear to the vast majority of fans he can’t continue, but is not replaced.
The next 10 -15 minutes sees even more blatant time-wasting by the away team and two bookings for the away team and a late one for Noel-McLeod seem to lengthen the game by what seems 7 or 8 mins and includes another shot by Barnstaple that flies off the post.
The referee who was seriously weak today, blows the final whistle on a sad ending.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 3 – 4 Barnstaple Town
Match Report by Martin French..