Isthmian South Central Division – 19th October 2021
Northwood 0 v 1 Basingstoke Town Attendance 134
Where: AcreTweed Stadium, Chestnut Avenue, Northwood, HA6 1HR
Both road & rain can’t stop Conor Lynch & Stoke bagging all three points at Northwood
Basingstoke Town went into this important mid-week match with a starting line-up of: 1. Paul Strudley, 2. Daniel Williamson, 3. Aiden Lewis, 4. Anton Rodgers 5. Nathan Smart, 6. Daryl Wollers, 7. D’Andre Brown, 8. Ben Cook, 9. Conor Lynch, 10. Bradley Wilson, 11. Simon Dunn (Capt)
On the bench: Stefan Brown, George Reid, Lloyd Snell, Mckoy Palmer & James Haworth
Referee – S Kyle
With a late kick-off due to the kit like many fans being stuck on the M25, and with rain pouring down it was Stoke who defended the covered end in the first-half.
The first action of note was Northwood breaking from a poor pass by Stoke, but the shot from 20yds, is straight at Paul Strudley, who makes a comfortable save. Northwood then win a free-kick on 8 mins just outside a penalty box. The kick flies past the far post as call for a corner are waved away by the referee.
On 9 mins we win our first corner of the game after good work by Bradley Wilson. Nothing comes from the corner as Northwood clear, but Stoke attack again and D’Andre Brown finds space to have a shot, but it flies wide of the near post.
On 20 minutes and with three intrepid (stupid) fans risking the downpour at the open-end, Conor Lynch makes his first notable contribution of the night, as he receives the ball just inside the Northwood half, and goes on a run, until a sliding tackle takes him out, and the referee awards Stoke a free-kick about 30yds out on the right-hand side of the pitch. The kick flies of a Northwood player’s shoulder and flies a yard wide of the goal for another Stoke corner. Anton Rodgers is taking the corners tonight and sends in a kick, that again the home side clear.
On 24 mins the next action of note, has Wilson back on the ball as he weaves past two players, but his shot is blocked back to him and he drags his second shot just wide of the near post.
Northwood have the next attack on 27 mins, but the shot is dragged wide of the far post.
Very little action of note, as both defences are on top, with the help of the weather.
Northwood, again break from a Stoke error, and their tricky little No.7 cuts inside from the left-hand side of the post and let’s fly a shot that Strudley pushes away and Stoke are able to clear.
The game reaches halftime with the game goal-less.
Halftime Northwood 0 – 0 Basingstoke Town
The game gets back underway with a number of Stoke fans still in the clubhouse including your match reporter who just enters the ground, as cheers go up and Stoke have scored. I am reliably informed that Conor Lynch volleys home a cross from Ben Cook GOAL ! Northwood 0 – 1 Basingstoke 1 (Lynch 50 mins).
It is Stoke back on it again, but a decent passing move by Dunn & Wilson ends with a cross, that flies past Lynch and the far post and out for a goal-kick.
Northwood then force back-to-back corners, which we defend through a Nathan Smart headed clearance and Strudley’s catch from the cross.
The game is still being affected by the weather and it is time for Stoke to make their first change on 71 mins, as Bradley Wilson is replaced by the returning George Reid.
Stoke receive their first yellow card of the evening as Anton Rodgers goes in the book on 75 mins.
The next attack of note forces another good save by Strudley as a shot down low at the right-hand near post is held by Strudley.
It is time for Stoke’s next change and it is Stefan Brown who replaces Conor Lynch on 79 mins.
George Reid then goes on his first noted run as he beats two defenders and as he enters the penalty area, he sends a ball across the face of the goal, which is put out for a corner by a Northwood defender. The corner by Rodgers is punched cleared by their keeper and they break over the halfway-line, but Wollers comes to the rescue and makes a timely tackle.
The game has slowed again and very little action on either goal, and Stoke make their third change on 88 mins, as McKoy Palmer replaces a hard-working Ben Cook.
The home-side have one more attack, but again Stoke’s defence is solid and deals with the cross.
There is still time for another Reid run as again he weaves past two defenders but again his cross is hooked clear by a Northwood defender.
The referee has seen enough and blows the final whistle and the large Stoke contingent in the larger than normal Northwood attendance make their way home.
Final Score: Northwood 0 – 1 Basingstoke Town
Lynch 50 mins
A game largely affected by the weather, cannot stop Basingstoke from a good all-round solid defensive performance. Conor Lynch adds another goal to his season tally and thanks should go to all the Stoke fans who travelled by car or train to the game.
With Hanwell Town winning at Marlow, Stoke remain in 6th place in the league.
Up next is another game on the road as we travel to Ashford Town (Middlesex) this coming Saturday.
Match Report by Martin French..