FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Rnd – 9th October 2021
Melksham Town 3 – 2 Basingstoke Town Attendance TBC
Where: infiLed Arena, Oakfields, Eastern Way, Melksham, Wilts SN12 7GU
Stoke’s cup participation for this season is ended at Melksham.
Dan Brownlie’s line-up for today’s cup match: 1. Paul Strudley, 2. Daniel Williamson, 3. James Haworth, 4. D’Andre Brown, 5. Daryl Wollers 6. Gareth Thomas, 7. Bradley Wilson, 8. Aiden Lewis 9. Mckoy Palmer, 10. Conor Lynch, 11. Ben Cook (Capt)
On the bench: Daniel Morrissey, Louis Wilson, Joe Western, Hugo Staunton & Joel Halliday
Referee – Robert Finn
Under a warm and sunny afternoon the game got underway with Stoke attacking the open end of the ground, and there was little action in the first few minutes.
Stoke attack down the left on 6 mins and the cross finds Conor Lynch whose touch allows Melksham to clear. Another attack this time down the right has another cross that fails to get a Stoke touch as it rolls across the face of the goal.
Then on 11 minutes we open the scoring, after a lovely run and pass by Bradley Wilson, finds D’Andre Brown who back-heels the ball to Conor Lynch who smashes a left-foot shot past the keeper into the bottom left-hand corner of the net GOAL ! Melksham Town 0 – 1 Basingstoke (Lynch 11 mins)
Stoke attack on 17 mins and another run and cross by Daniel Williamson down the right finds Conor Lynch who just fails to make the right connection and Melksham are able to scramble it clear.
It is still all Stoke as we win a free-kick down the right on 19 mins and the kick by Ben Cook finds a finds Gareth Thomas whose diving header flashes past the near post.
A long ball over the back of the Melksham back has Stoke fans calling for a penalty, but the referee rightly waves it away, as Conor trips on the back of the Melksham defenders leg.
Melksham create their first real chance on 25 mins, forces a fine save by Paul Strudley down low at the near post,
The home side attack again down the right but Daryl Wollers calmly clears as he first blocks the cross and then slides the ball out to D’Andre Brown on the left.
On 27 mins another lovely run by Bradley Wilson down the right allows him to cross from the byline, across the face of the goal, but again there is no Stoke player to tap it home and the ball rolls clear.
On the half-hour, more good work by Williamson on the halfway line, who then finds D’Andre Brown who charges forward with the ball then unleashes a hot that flies just past the far right-hand post.
Melksham then level the score, as we are caught out by a quick throw-in that catches out by back and the Melksham forward Malshanskyj finishes with a low left-foot shot that finds the far corner of the net. Melksham 1-1 Basingstoke.
On 39 mins Stoke win a free-kick 28 yds out down the right after a heavy tackle, causes some pushing and shoving by a few players on both sides. The kick finds Thomas, whose header flies 4yds wide of the goal.
On 42 mins Conor Lynch gets a yellow card, presumably for something he says rather than the soft foul he does.
On 44 mins good defensive work as Melksham break and we are able to clear through Wollers.
The last action of the first-half has Strudley making another good save from a Melksham forward.
Halftime Melksham Town 1 – 1 Basingstoke Town
The second-half gets underway and after a brief attack by Stoke, Melksham break down the right and a shot pulls another comfortable save by Strudley in the Stoke goal.
Then on 50 mins, following a corner from the right, the ball is tapped home from close range, and the home-side take the lead 2-1.
Melksham attack down the right and another cross is hooked clear by a Stoke defender.
Melksham then win a soft free-kick 20yds out straight in front of goal. The kick hits a Stoke player and the rebound shot flies comfortably wide of the left-hand post.
Melksham double their lead on 58 mins as an attack down the right, leads to a pass to a wide-open Melksham forward who has time to take two touches before sending the ball past our keeper into the net. Melksham 3-1 Basingstoke.
Stoke then have the next few minutes of possession, but fail to put a shot on the goal.
We then make our first change on 63 mins as Joe Western replaces Gareth Thomas.
Stoke continue on the front foot and across from the right falls to a Stoke player on the edge of the box, but his shot is blocked away.
Then on 63 mins Stoke deservedly pull a goal back as another cross and shot rebounds over to the far post, where Bradley Wilson volleys home from close range into the far corner of the net. GOAL !! Melksham Town 3 – 2 Basingstoke (Wilson 66 mins)
On 68 mins another attack from Stoke forces a superb diving save by the Melksham keeper as a shot by Lynch flies towards the goal.
On 71 mins Williamson gets the second yellow card for Stoke.
The next few minutes neither team seem able to put any attack of note together.
We now head into the last 10 minutes of the game, and Melksham look pretty comfortable as they seem to prevent us creating any real attempts on their goal.
A good -block by Aiden Lewis on 82 mins sets Stoke away again, but the cross from Wilson flies past everyone and goes out for a throw-in.
On 85 mins Stoke make their second change as Aiden Lewis is replaced by Daniel Morrissey.
We head into injury and a fine save by Strudley keeps us in the game.
We make our third change as Louis Wilson replaces James Haworth.
It is a drab last minute as the referee blows the final whistle and Stoke fall out of the FA Trophy.
Final Score: Melksham Town 3 – 2 Basingstoke Town
Malshanskyj 34 mins Lynch 11 mins
Parson 50 mins Wilson 66 mins
Hopkins 58 mins
A much-reduced Stoke starting line-up, fail to take full advantage of the opening 30 mins of domination and two early second-half goals are more than enough to end our cup participation for another season.
Conor Lynch, extends his goal-scoring output, whilst a much-improved Bradley Wilson performance looks good for the games coming up.
With a free Saturday, our next league match is a visit to Northwood on Tuesday 19th October 2021 with a 7.45pm kick-off.
Match Report by Martin French..