Match Report: Bedfont Sports 1 v 3 Basingstoke Town Saturday 7th January 2023

Isthmian South Central Division – Saturday 7th January 2023
Bedfont Sports 1 v 3 Basingstoke Town    Attendance 198
Where: Bedfont Sports Recreation Ground, Hatton Road, Bedfont. TW14 9QT
Stoke Move Upto Third After Win At Bedfont Sports
Dan Brownlie’s line-up for today: 1. Paul Strudley, 2. Markus Johnson-Schuster, 3. Callum Winchcombe, 4. Michael Atkinson, 5. Nathan Smart, 6. Billy Upton, 7. Bradley Wilson, 8. Simon Dunn (Capt), 9. Ben Cook, 10. James Clark, 11. George Reid
On the bench: Brody Peart, Marcio Neves, D’Andre Brown, Scott Armsworth & Sam Argent
Referee – Howard Collins

The rain has currently stopped as Stoke’s first away game of 2023 gets underway, with a large contingent of Stoke fans for this game at Bedfont and there is very little action in the first ten minutes of the game. We then win a corner on the left, which when taken finds Billy Upton first to the cross who sends a powerful header, but straight to the keeper who makes the save.

Minutes later that is all we will see of Billy Upton, as he has picked up an injury and is replaced by the return of Scott Armsworth.
A curling cross from Markus Johnson-Schuster is then met by James Clark, who just can’t direct the header on target, as the ball flies wide of the far right-hand post.

It’s still Stoke pushing forward, but our final pass has been missing as we pass the half-hour mark.
A shot from over 35 yards from Bradley Wilson, curls and swerves just over the bar and flies into the Stoke fans behind the goal. A further attack minutes later sees a shot from Simon Dunn palmed away and Bedfont clear the lose ball.

A corner from Bedfont is caught by Paul Strudley in goal as we move towards the last five minutes of the half.

Then in the last minute of normal time, a ball is pushed through to Wilson on the left, who sends a low cross along the six-yard line, where George Reid beats his defender to the ball, and pokes the ball under the keeper who is unable to stop it, as the ball rolls into the net, GOAL ! Bedfont Sports 0 – 1 Basingstoke Town (George Reid 45 mins)

The referee plays a minute of added time after the restart, and then blows the halftime whistle.

Halftime – Bedfont Sports 0 v 1 Basingstoke Town
The game gets back underway and the first five minutes has Sports pushing for an equaliser, which includes a penalty claim, when Smart shoves/barges a Sports player inside the box.
We then break as a ball is pushed through to Ben Cook, who is first to the ball, and he takes a touch then slides it out to Wilson, who runs on to it and hits a powerful first-time left foot shot that beats the keeper at the near post. GOAL !! Bedfont Sports 0 – 2 Basingstoke Town (Bradley Wilson 52 mins)

Then as we approach the hour mark, a long clearance bounces to the edge of the Bedfont penalty area, and their keeper is just first to the ball as he flies into his own defender and both players end up on the floor and need treatment. The keeper has taken a serious knock, and after a number of minutes, is stretchered off and is replaced by a substitute who takes over in goal.

Bedfont appear to have reacted the better after the long delay, as a shot on 70 minutes, beats Strudley in goal as it hit the right-hand post on the way into the back of the net. Bedfont 1 Basingstoke 2

Callum Winchcombe then finds Wilson on the left, who cuts inside on his right and goes past three defenders, before shooting, but his shot is tame, but the back-up keeper, needs two attempts to stop the shot.

The homeside are now the team pushing forward and are looking for an equaliser, as the Stoke fans seem restless around the ground.

Stoke then win a corner on the right, which flies across the face of the goal and out for a goal kick.
We then make our second substitution on 82 mins with Brody Peart replacing James Clark.
The change makes an immediate difference, as Peart receives the ball and finds Wilson out on the left, who the business once again as he smashes the ball past the Bedfont keeper into the net. GOAL !!! Bedfont Sports 0 – 3 Basingstoke Town (Bradley Wilson 84 mins)

Stoke a minute later have another nice attack, as Peart finds Wilson who finds Wilson who slides the ball to Reid, who shoots at the keeper, who slings a foot at the ball and slices it out for a corner on the left. The kick is headed clear.

We make our final change on 89 minutes with D’Andre Brown replacing Ben Cook.
We now are entering a long period of added time for the injury to Bedfont’s keeper.
In the 95th minute we continue to push forward and a shot hits the bottom of the left-hand post and bounces away as Bedfont clear.
Stoke win further back-to-back corners, the second is met by Armsworth who flicks a header just past the far post and out for a goal-kick.

We are now into the twelfth minute of added-time, as the referee has seen enough and blows the full-time whistle, and Stoke leave Bedfont with all three points.

Full-time Score: Bedfont Sports 1 v 3 Basingstoke Town
Ngunga 70                                           Reid 45 & 70 mins, Wilson 52 & 84 mins

Match Thought’s
Despite the poor weather and the travel complications a huge turnout by Stoke fans who easily account for two-thirds of the crowd. On the pitch we struggled to create goalmouth chances in the first half until George Reid’s determination to get to Bradley Wilson’s cross. A superb finish by Wilson doubled our lead, but the injury to the keeper seemed to inspire the homeside on and somewhat against the run of play after Bedfont had pulled a goal back did we add a late third goal.
Not the best of performances but the three points are key, whilst we have further injury concerns now over Billy Upton.

Up Next:
We host Westfield at Winklebury next Saturday (14th), in the return match after losing to them 4-0 at Westfield back in August.

Match Report by Martin French..