Isthmian South Central Division – Saturday 17th September 2022
Basingstoke Town 5 v 0 Ashford Town Attendance 374
Where: Winklebury Sports Complex, Winklebury Way, Basingstoke. RG23 8BF
A complete Performance Sees Stoke Win 5-0 At Home
Dan’s starting line-up included the return of George Reid & James Haworth to the starting eleven: 1. Paul Strudley, 2. Ben Mason, 3. James Haworth, 4. Anton Rodgers, 5. Scott Armsworth, 6. Billy Upton, 7. Bradley Wilson, 8. Simon Dunn (Capt) 9. Ezio Touray, 10. James Clark, 11. George Reid,
On the bench: Callum Winchcombe, Marcio Neves, Dan Williamson, Nathan Smart & Sam Argent
Referee – Mitchell Terry
With the game kicking off with Stoke attacking the railway end, the first noticeable change, and one that I had been asking Dan to do for a couple of years, is that we have switched dugouts.
We win back-to-back-to back corners in the fourth minute, but Ashford are able to hold us at bay.
From a quick throw-in deep in the half, a neat passing move then finds Bradley Wilson on the left who sends a low left foot cross, that Ezio is just inches away. Another attack, another cross from Wilson this time Ezio just fails to get his head to the ball with the keeper stranded as the ball flies out for a goal-kick.
Although this is a much better start, we are still looking for that opening goal, and we win two further corners, but again Ashford are able to keep us out.
The visitors have their first attack on 20 mins, as they break down the right and send a cross over that we push out for a corner. Paul Strudley cleanly catches the corner kick.
Then on 24 mins following another attack, we pick the ball up, and a neat passing move finds George Reid, just outside the penalty area, as he cuts inside past his defender, takes a touch then sends a shot past the keeper into the far corner of the net. GOAL! Basingstoke Town 1 – 0 Ashford Town (Reid 24 mins)
The next ten minutes, there is very little goalmouth action, then in the 39 th minutes, when we push forward and the ball finds Wilson, who does a quick one-two with Ezio, which allows Wilson to run on and slide the ball under the on-coming keeper into the net. GOAL!! Basingstoke Town 2 – 0 Ashford Town (Wilson 39 mins)
Ashford have another attack, but Strudley makes the save.
Then from Strudley’s it’s Clark who finds Ezio who heads the ball to Reid who races past his defender and as the keeper once again looks to come out towards Reid, Reid, wastes no time in putting it past the keeper, this time on his right foot into the far corner of the net. GOAL!!! Basingstoke Town 3 – 0 Ashford Town (Reid 45 mins)
We play two minutes of added-time before the referee blows for halftime, and the Stoke players walk off to a rapturous cheer from the home crowd.
Halftime – Basingstoke Town 3 v 0 Ashford Town
On 52 minutes, Ashford create a chance as one of their forwards looks to round Strudley, but he is able to get a hand to it, and Mason is back to win the ball back and forces a goal-kick.
Dan Brownlie decides to make his first substitution as a hard-working Anton Rodgers in his first appearance of the season, is replaced by Marcio Neves.
A minute later, we have our first attack of note, as the ball is passed to Wilson, who brings it down, slides it to Simon Dunn, who finds Ezio, who then takes a touch and slides the ball back to Wilson, who then hits a curling shot a few yards wide of the left-hand post.
This seems to wake us up, and James Clark wins the ball in midfield and we move forward once again and a cross from Ben Mason hits a Ashford defender and drops to the keeper. A minute later it’s Haworth who wins the ball and drives past two Ashford players, before he gets pulled over.
Then good work on 61 mins, as the ball is pushed through to Ezio, who initially gets fouled, but pushes on and toe pokes the ball, which hits the legs of the oncoming keeper, and they are able to clear, only for the referee to rightly award us a free-kick, as no advantage was gained. The free-kick 25 yards out is hit sweetly by George Reid, only for the Ashford keeper to make full-length diving save to push the ball out for a corner. Ashford are able to clear from the corner.
Ashford then force another save out of Strudley, after a they attack down the left, and a shot from about nine yards out is saved by Strudley at the near post.
We win two further corners, with James Clark our new corner taker, sending over two dangerous crosses, that Ashford struggle to clear.
Then on 69 minutes, we break into their penalty area, and Marcio seems to take on three defenders, and then slides the ball across to Wilson who hits a pearler from the edge of the penalty into the stanchion of the left-hand post with the keeper helpless GOAL!!!! Basingstoke Town 4 – 0 Ashford Town (Wilson 69 mins)
As the ball is returned to the centre spot, the crowd starts clapping as it hits 70 minutes, in honour of Queen Elizabeth.
The games gets back underway a minute later and even the Ashford keeper admits to the fans behind the goal that no keeper was ever going to stop that shot.
Another attack down the right sees Mason hook a cross over from an acute angle, which Billy Upton is up but heads the ball just over the bar.
We then make our second change on 75 mins, as Ben Mason replaced by Dan Williamson.
Stoke continue to push forward and Wilson gets his hat-trick, as good work by Marcio, who finds Wilson who slides the ball to Touray, who takes a touch then finds Wilson, who hits a shot past the keeper into the far left-hand corner of the net. GOAL!!!!! Basingstoke Town 5 – 0 Ashford Town (Wilson 82 mins)
We then make our third and final change with Simon Dunn being replaced by Callum Winchcombe (83 mins).
Another smooth Stoke attack forces the keeper to save with his legs from Ezio’s shot.
Then in the 85th minute, Ashford win a penalty, but the penalty taker hits the post, but gets to the rebound and puts it past Strudley in goal, only for the referee after a few seconds of confusion awards Stoke a free-kick, as the penalty taker cannot touch the ball twice from a penalty without another player touching it first.
On 88 mins another sweet move results in a Wilson shot that the keeper gets a hand to and pushes it over the bar. Nothing comes from the corner.
Marcio then hobbles off after a nasty sliding tackle takes him out, and we will play the last minute plus injury-time with ten men.
We play three minutes of added-time, before the referee calls time on a well-deserved victory.
Full-time Score: Basingstoke Town 5 v 0 Ashford Town
George Reid 24 & 45 mins
Bradley Wilson 39, 69 & 82 mins
Complete attitude change, as we took the game to Ashford from the start. Both recalls of Reid & Haworth worked well and they both played their part in what was a good all-round performance. Playing a 4-4-2 formation we looked more stronger at the back. A brace by Reid and a hat-trick for Wilson, can’t be bad.
Is our visit to Chertsey Town, which has been put back 72 hours to the Friday evening (KO 7.45pm).
Match Report by Martin French..