FA Cup Preliminary Round – 21st August 2021
Basingstoke Town 4 v 1 Bridgwater Utd Attendance 552
Where: Winklebury Complex, Winklebury Way, Basingstoke. RG23 8BF
A controlled performance sees Stoke through into next round of the FA Cup
With George Reid still sidelined Manager Dan Brownlie went with a starting line-up of : 1. Paul Strudley, 2. Daniel Williamson, 3. James Howarth, 4. D’Andre Brown, 5. Scott Armsworth, 6. Shaun Dallimore, 7. McKoy Palmer, 8. Ben Cook, 9. Conor Lynch, 10. Bradley Wilson, 11. Simon Dunn (Capt)
On the bench: Adam Everiss, Hugo Staunton, Kial Mumford, Aiden Lewis, Daryl Wollers
Referee – Sean Jenkins
With Basingstoke expecting a competitive FA Cup encounter against a good Bridgwater side, Stoke attacked the car park end in the first-half and the first attack after 2 mins is rebuffed after as a pass from Bradley Wilson to Conor Lynch is accepted on the edge of the box. Then on 4 minutes, we go close twice as we attack down the right is initially cleared and the ball rebounds to Wilson who sends another cross over to the far post and left-back James Haworth heads the ball and it smashes off the post and is hooked away from the goalmouth.
It’s all Stoke as we push forward again through McKoy & Wilson, but Wilson’s cross is easily blocked out for a corner. The corner is headed out to Simon Dunn on the edge of the box, but his volley flies over the bar.
On 8 mins the Bridgwater keeper passes it straight to Ben Cook, who fails to take the opportunity to shoot and his pass is wasted and the Bridgwater defence holds.
Three more corners in the next five minutes as the ball is pinging around the visitors goalmouth, but each time the ball is blocked out for further corners. Again Bridgwater are able to clear each time.
Another attack on 18 mins down the right with Wilson is again blocked and cleared to the halfway-line.
Very little from the Devon-based side apart from a tame shot from 30 yds saved by Paul Strudley in goal.
Again it’s Stoke on the edge of the Bridgwater penalty-area, but that final pass is just not there and it stays goal-less. Another chance goes missing as Conor Lynch’s shot flies high and wide over the bar.
On 37 mins Bridgwater have their first chance after good work down the right and a cross from the by-line finds their forward who gets to the cross first, but his shot goes wide of the near post.
Stoke are back on it with five minutes till the half-time whistle, but again the ball is cleared away from the six-yard box. Then another shot this time by Palmer flies over the bar.
Then on 45 mins, we get the breakthrough, as an attack down the left is neatly slotted to Lynch, who takes a touch inside and curls a right-footed shot into the far-corner of the goal. GOAL ! Basingstoke 1 – 0 Bridgwater Utd
The visitors have an attack but Strudley intercepts the through pass and as he clears the ball, the referee blows for halftime.
Halftime Basingstoke Town 1 – 0 Bridgwater Utd
The game gets back underway with no changes by us and the large crowd are expecting more from the second 45 mins, but the visitors are first to attack and the ball hits our crossbar and somehow we hook the ball clear.
We see our first caution of the day as Cook is booked.
It’s the Conor Lynch show as an inch-perfect pass finds Lynch on the edge of the box, and he takes one touch, sets himself then slides the ball again past the keeper into the far corner of the net. GOAL !! Basingstoke Town 2 – 0 Bridgwater Utd.
The visitors look to strike-back but good defensive work Armsworth thwarts their attack.
Oops!! Bridgwater are down to ten men as their No.7 Duffy crazily strikes Shaun Dallimore and heads straight off to the dressing room.
Just past the hour we then win a soft penalty and it’s our penalty-taker Lynch who looks for his hat-trick. This time however, his shot flies high over the bar and the game remains at 2-0.
Despite being down to ten-men, Bridgwater look to attack but a shot is blocked by Dallimore on the edge of our penalty area.
Simon Dunn finds his name in the referee’s book on 66 mins.
We make our first change on 67 mins as Adam Everiss replaces McKoy Palmer.
It is Everiss who makes an immediate impression as a cross finds him on the six-yard line, but his header flies just wide of the far post.
Bridgwater start to make some changes, looking to freshen up their team.
Our next attack of note as the ball falls to D’Andre Brown on his left foot, but his shot flies wide of the post.
The visitors then out of nowhere find the right pass in front of our goal and Strudley is beaten by their forward Nick Woodrow and it’s now 2-1.
This seems to wake up the homeside and with ten minutes to go we have back-to-back attacks from the right-hand side, however each time the ball is hooked clear.
On 84 mins good work again by Everiss, finds Brown who’s cross to the far post goes wasted as no-one is there to finish.
Then on 87 mins we put the game to bed, as another neat move down the left, leads to a cross, that the Utd No.5 gets a foot to it but straight to an on-running D’Andre Brown who slams it home past the keeper into the net. GOAL !!! Basingstoke Town 3 – 1 Bridgwater Utd.
Stoke make their second change with Daryl Wollers replacing Captain Simon Dunn who receives a good round of applause from the large crowd.
Then as we edge into injury-time a long clearance has the Bridgwater keeper unsure how to deal with the high ball just outside his box, but he chooses to head the ball up in the air, and it’s your goal-scoring hero Lynch who hooks the ball from 25yds into the top of net. GOAL !!!! Basingstoke Town 4 – 1 Bridgwater Utd.
We then make a late change on 93 mins with Aiden Lewis replacing Bradley Wilson.
Five minutes into injury-time and the referee calls time on the game and Stoke head into next week’s draw.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 4 – 1 Bridgwater Utd
Lynch 3 (45, 51 & 90 mins) Woodrow 78 mins
Brown 87 mins
Four goals, a hat-trick by Conor Lynch and D’Andre Brown’s first Stoke goal put us through on a day where a determined Bridgewater side head home to Devon having put on a good performance.
Another £2,250 pounds in the bank and we await Monday’s draw
Another game at Winklebury as we host Chalfont St Peter next Saturday (11th).
Match Report by Martin French..