Evo Stick South Premier Division South 20th April 2019
Basingstoke Town 4– 1 Frome Town Attendance 416
Where: The Camrose Stadium, Western Way, Basingstoke. RG22 6EZ
Basingstoke took a huge step to safety today, only soured by an unneeded incident behind the goal.
With one mind towards the four games in eight games following, Martin Kuhl’s line-up looked to rest one or two players for the game against relegated Frome Town, with just the returning Adam Everiss returning to the team; 1. Tom McGill, 2. Dean Stow 3. Adam Everiss, 4. Charlie Kennedy (Capt) 5. Jack Wakely 6. Dan Bayliss, 7. Reece Rusher, 8. Michael Atkinson, 9. Sam Argent, 10. Sam Deadfield, 11. Yvan Jourdan
On the bench; 12. Hollamby 14. Pearse 15 Smart 17. Wright 13. Rackley
On a beautiful warm and sunny day the game got underway with Stoke attacking the Clubhouse end in the penultimate game at the Camrose.
Stoke are first on the attack on two minutes when a good passing move between Everiss and Jourdan allows Yvan to cross the ball which is headed away, Stow retrieves it and sends in another cross that is again cleared by the visitors.
On 4 minutes we again attack with purpose and Rusher forces a corner down the right. Nothing however comes from the corner.
On 7 minutes we are back on it and force a corner down the left. With Pearse on the bench, Deadfield uses Kennedy as the short corner taker, who slides the ball back to Deadfield who cuts inside and hits one at the keeper who punches the ball up into the air, but it is hacked clear.
On 10 minutes we attack down the right and Rusher not only shows his skill but his determination as he initially appears to get knocked off the ball, but wins it back then cuts inside past two other Frome defenders and smashes one inches past the far post and out for a goal-kick.
On 13 min, Frome have their first attack winning a corner down or right. The corner is defended well, and we break to the halfway line.
On 16 mins we attack again using Rusher down the wing who sends in a cross, which just beats the keeper and the outstretched leg of Sam Deadfield.
On 18 mins, some good work by Atkinson sets Everiss away down the left, Adam feeds it Jourdan who then slides it to Deadfield, he then does a neat one-two with Atkinson, and Sam clips it over to Argent the ball is just too hard, and the keeper is able to recover it.
On 21 mins we take the lead after some quick thinking from Kennedy as we win a free-kick. Charlie takes a quick one before Frome are set and slides it through to Jourdan who takes two touches and then neatly slides it under the oncoming keeper into the net GOAL Basingstoke Town 1 – 0 Frome Town.
This is no more than we deserve, but on 24 mins Frome have their next attack, but good work from Wakely who blocks the ball out for a corner. It is Argent’s who heads it clear from the corner.
It is Stoke who are still pressing but are unable to create a chance on goal for the next five minutes.
Then on 30 mins, Argent somehow chases down a pass on the touchline down the right, he does the left back and sends in a cross, but with no Stoke player in the box, but the Frome centre-back puts out for a corner. The corner is initially cleared, but the ball is then looped back into the box, where Argent is first on it and tries his over-head bicycle kick. He makes good connection and a yard either side of the keeper it would be, but this one allows the keeper to palm it down before recovering it.
The crowd are wondering when the second goal is coming from and there are two penalty shouts in the next five minutes. Neither were penalties, and the referee got them right. We have also had two water breaks.
On 40 mins we have back to back attacks. The first is from Rusher who cuts inside between two defenders but then sends his shot two yards wide of the near post. Then a ball over the top is beautifully brought under control by Argent, he decides not to hit one with his left and cuts in on his right, but when he takes the shot it is comfortably blocked.
Then deep into extended time, a lovely bit of play from Jourdan and Atkinson inside Frome’s box, allows the ball to Rusher and somehow his shot from 3yds bounces off the keeper and away to safety.
The referee calls the end of the first half with Stoke deserving more than the one-goal lead.
The second-half gets underway with us attacking the Town End and the game is turned on it’s head in the space of ten seconds, as Rusher takes a speculative shot from about 28 yards, it has the keeper beaten but smacks the crossbar and flies away, Frome are straight on it and fly upfield, where their forward Ryan Bath cuts the ball inside from down the left and then unleashes an unstoppable shot from all of the 35 yards into the far top corner of the net and Frome are somehow back level 1-1.
This rather than setting us back, seems to re-ignite our attack, as on 52 mins a lovely bit of play from Jourdan and Everiss allows Yvan to break into the box, but his second touch is just a touch too hard and Frome are able to hoof the ball out for a throw-in.
On 54mins more good work allows Argent are a chance to shoot, but’s two yards wide.
Then on 58 mins, the referee who quite rightly never gave us a penalty in the first half, points to the penalty spot when a cross into the box, deflects off Argent straight onto a Frome defender’s arm. That’s a harsh decision, but one the hosts will take. It is Deadfield who steps up and put’s under past the keeper. GOAL!! Basingstoke Town 2 – 1 Frome Town.
This seems to take some of the fight out of the visitors who are actually a poor team and why they are destined for relegation.
It is then that things take a sad note, as two smoke bombs are set-off behind the goal, this initially does not stop the game, until one of them is thrown into the back of the net. The referee quite rightly has to stop the game, whilst our steward with the help from one of the players gets rid of the offending item.
The game is back underway, and Stoke are the team in total control and on 64 mins, Jourdan has a chance to extend the lead as he wins a tackle 25yards out and he races on with just the keeper to beat, but his shot flies off the keeper into the air and flies to Argent whose volley just flies over the bar.
We make our first change of the day as Rusher is given a good reception as he is replaced by Harry Pearse on 65 mins.
Then on 69 mins we do extend our lead as good work from Everiss down the left, sends in a low cross that Argent is first to and it, and he flicks in into the bottom corner of the net. GOAL !!! Basingstoke Town 3 – 1 Frome Town.
Pearse wastes no time in getting involved as he starts a move with the energetic Jourdan today, it is Jourdan who after holding the ball, slides it through to Argent, but it’s a touch too hard and the keeper is first on it.
Pearse and Deadfield then create another chance as they break into the heart of Frome’s defence, but the pass to Argent is blocked clear.
Frome do then create an attack, but the shot goes wide of the far post.
To be honest I’m not sure if McGill has even got his gloves dirty today as apart from the goal which he had not chance with he hasn’t had to make a save.
On 77 mins we make our second change as Kennedy is replaced by Hollamby.
The game is now over on 81 mins, and Frome know it and it’s Stoke who add to the lead as the ball is fed to Jourdan who breaks down the right, takes the ball into the box then slides an inch-perfect pass that splits the keeper and defender’s and finds Argent at the far post who taps it in from four yards. GOAL!!!! Basingstoke Town 4 – 1 Frome Town.
We make our final change on 86 mins as two-goal Argent is replaced by Ben Wright and the ‘we’ve got Sammie Argent’ chant rings out again around the ground.
There is one final shot by Pearse, which the keeper saves as we head into four minutes of added time.
No more action and the ref blow’s the final whistle and Stoke take one big step to safety.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 4 – 1 Frome Town
Big game, big win for Basingstoke who apart from one wonder shot by Frome, never looked in danger of giving the game away.
A good all-round performance by the starting eleven, with Rusher again showing what he can offer for the future.
The midfield behind the battling qualities of Atkinson and the returning Kennedy, allowed Deadfield to run the midfield and with Argent again back on target with two more finishes were simply too much for Frome.
Jourdan showed some lovely touches today and could have had more than the one goal.
Good to see Everiss at the back who not only solidifies the left back role, he has a quality in the attacking role as well.
The whole team played well, and this game never looked in doubt.
We now move onto Farnborough on Monday, knowing that Walton must win their last two both games and for Gosport to win again for us to need a result at either Boro or Taunton next Saturday.
Match Report by Martin French..