Bet Victor South Division One South 30th September 2020
Larkhall Athletic 1–2 Basingstoke Town Attendance 125
Where: Plain Ham Stadium, Charlcombe Lane, Bath.Stoke go two for two on the road, after injury-time penalty winner.
Manager Dan Brownlie’s second starting line-up of the season was; 1. Julian Schwarzer, 2. James Smith, 3. Adam Everiss, 4. Lewis Hayden (Capt), 5. Scott Armsworth, 6. Daryl Wollers 7. George Reid, 8. Ben Cook, 9. George Hallahan, 10. Bradley Wilson, 11. McKoy Palmer
With an extended car-journey due to traffic incidents, the pouring rain and then a drive up the mountainside to the narrowest entrance to a football ground, both players and fans arrived at the Plain Ham Stadium.
The game kicked off two minutes late with Stoke attacking the car-park/clubhouse end, on a pitch that looked worthy of an early season start, despite the deluge of rain that had hit the ground in the previous few hours.
It is Larkhall within the first minute who create a chance but Daryl Wollers blocks and then clears the ball away.
Stoke first half-chance falls on 3 minutes, when a Larkhall defender and Bradley Wilson are competing for the through ball, and it appears Bradley is clipped as he goes down, but the referee waves away the Stoke claims for a foul.
Another attack down our left flank, finds another cross into he six-yard box, but Scott Armsworth deals with this one.
On 12 minutes, we have our next threatening attack, as the ball is fed out to McKoy Palmer on the right, he jinks inside and goes through three Larkhall players, but his shot/cross from 8yds out is blocked out for a corner. The corner finds Bradley Wilson at the far post who slides the ball onto his right foot and let’s fly, but the ball is blocked away.
A minute later and the home-side should have gone ahead, as another attack down our left is knocked out for the corner. The kick to the far-post is knocked back to a seemingly wide-open forward who hoofs it over the bar from six-yards out.
Then on 17 minutes, another Stoke through ball, and a defensive error finds George Hallahan free with the ball at his feet, the keeper is uncertain whether to come out, but George takes his time, then calmly slots it wide of the keeper into the net GOAL! Larkhall 0–1 Basingstoke Town
The next five to ten minutes sees the Larks on top, but defensive stops by James Smith, Wollers and Armsworth, plus a nice low-down stop by Julian Schwarzer in goal, keeps them at bay.
Then on 28 minutes, we create another chance, following a flowing move down the left, through Everiss, Hallahan and Wilson, who finds Ben Cook just outside the penalty area, whose shot with not much power is blocked.
Schwarzer then makes a fine save low down at the left hand post, and minutes later Adam Everiss goes in the book for what was his fourth minor foul or possibly for kicking the ball into the pitch-side board. From the kick it is Schwarzer again with another fine save, who palms it away, however Larkhall, cross it straight back in but they scuff another shot from 8yds out.
Then on 41 minutes, we slip the ball out to the right, where George Reid, picks the ball up, cuts in on his left foot, and unleashes a pile-driver, that the keeper just gets his hand to and the ball flies over the bar. Nothing comes from the resulting corner.
The halftime whistle blows with Stoke still ahead and the rain appearing to ease off.
A classy move through Palmer and Wilson then find Reid just inside the box, but his right foot shot beats the keeper, but smashes against the bar and over for a goal-kick. That should have been our second goal!
We are then pushed back, as Larkhall attack down both flanks, but again we seem strong and assured at the back.
The Larks are back on it and a cross from the right wing, hit the top of our bar and flies away.
Stoke on 58 mins break down the left and the cross finds the keeper who drops the ball, but Cook can’t get a boot to it.
Then on 67 mins, an attack down our left, enables another cross to the far post, and a Larkhall header, beats Schwarzer in the goal, and it’s back even.
The next few minutes see us on the attack, and it ends with a lovely shot by Wilson, that forces a finger-tip save by the home-keeper and out for a corner. Nothing comes from the corner.
Heading into the final ten minutes, it has us attacking again, but a weak shot by Dylan Ive should have been better.
Larkhall than have a decent chance to take the lead, but Schwarzer makes a double save, the second blocking the ball out for a corner. Wollers wins the ball from the corner and we clear again.
Now deep into added-time we break down the middle, then push the ball out to Wilson on the right who cuts inside the box, and goes down from a challenge, and the calls for a penalty are confirmed by the referee.
Final Score: Larkhall Athletic 1 – 2 Basingstoke Town
Match Report by Martin French..