FA Cup 1st Round Qualifying Match- 3pm Saturday 8th September 2018
Paulton Rovers 1 – 1 Basingstoke Town Attendance 282
In a small village, on a grey and overcast day 10 miles away from anything in the 21st Century, Basingstoke strode into town with the expectancy of advancing in the FA Cup and pocketing a £6,000 pay cheque.
However, reality rarely meets expectations, and today was no exception!!
Paulton’s ground to be honest is quite a nice place, the pitch despite the slope is good, which probably shows up the rest of the town, but let’s get back to the matter at hand. Our FA Cup adventure?
Jason’s line-up for today. In goal McAdden, the back four Stow, Philby, Bayliss & Orvis. In midfield was Bennett, Kennedy (Capt), Deadfield & Akers. Up top was Smart & the returning Sam Argent.
On the bench; Hollamby, McKnight, Bunting, Collier & Wright.
The game got off to a very slow start, with Stoke kicking down a steepish hill to the corrugated fence end from the Town End. In fact the first few minutes we saw a confident passing Paulton team. This is confirmed in the 4th minute when they win the first corner of the match, which we easily clear.
8 mins in and Stoke win their first corner. Bennett’s cross is over Argent’s head, and is headed clear by one of three or four big defenders Paulton have playing today.
It is clear that today Basingstoke are trying to pass the ball out from the back, not sure we have the skill for that, and Rovers seem able to stop us building past the halfway line.
As the game continues, we seem to give a number of fouls away in our 3rd of the pitch. These free-kicks although threaten our penalty area, are mainly well defended by Bayliss.
On 16 mins following another Paulton attack, the ball ends up in our net. The ref has given it, but the linesman has his flag up. Was it offside, no states the linesman as he clear motions that the striker handled the ball. The goal is disallowed and the referee books the Paulton No.9 for deliberate handball.
Then on 20 minutes, we strike, as Deadfield wins the ball down the left, he cuts inside, slides the ball to Bennett 30yards out, who literally in one motion hits a sweet left-footed curling shot, that beats the keeper and hits the inside of the far post and is in the net. GOAL Paulton 0 – 1 Basingstoke
Basingstoke continue to give free-kicks away at will in our half. However, these are all rebuffed by our defence.
Then Stoke seem to start taking control, as Smart as more free space and Argent is now winning the ball against the two big Paulton defenders.
However, as soon we seem to be looking to be on top, on 35 mins, the Paulton number 3 brings the ball forward into our half and unleashes a 35yd screamer out of nowhere, as it hits the top left-hand corner past a diving McAdden. After what seems like 2 1/2 mins of celebrating including the Paulton Manager on the pitch, the game is restarted. This has refreshed Paulton’s desire for the game and they seem to be on the front foot again.
Akers & Smart have switched wings, but neither look on it today, and neither have created any real decent crosses into Argent.
The game draws to a close for halftime as neither team can create any more real chances.
With no Basingstoke changes at halftime, but clearly an upset Jason Bristow, the game gets back underway.
The second half is underway and we seem to show more vigour as Stow is pushing more forward and his cross is well held by the keeper under pressure from Argent.
Then on 48 mins Deadfield, picks up the ball he chips a cross field pass to Smart, who takes it his in stride, it is an acute angle but decides to unleash a volley, unfortunately straight at the keeper who holds onto the ball well.
We have further attacks on 53 & 55 mins, but neither create a meaningful attempt on goal. Akers is replaced by Collier.
But let’s be clear, Paulton are no mugs and where we try to play it out from the back, Rovers are intent to pump it upfield via their keeper. They create some good passing moves on 60 & 63 mins, which result in a good clearance again by Bayliss and a good low-down save by McAdden at the near post.
Stoke, then make their 2nd change replacing Smart for Bunting. Personally, that leaves us with no wingers, which is the main route to most of our goals.
That is clear, as we push Stow further forward, who has to hit crosses in from 40yds out, which are easily dealt with by Paulton.
The Btg are getting restless behind the goal, which is then further worsened by a simple clearance from Paulton’s own half, on 72mins as a Rovers forward is clean through, but his shot is superbly palmed away by McAdden, the rebound has Stow beaten as another Rovers forward clips the ball back towards what seems an open net, only for Colm the Cat, to make a diving/sliding save across the goalmouth and push it out for a corner. McAdden, has silenced his critics temporarily with this double-save. Stoke to be honest, like virtually all corners today, deal with it comfortably.
Paulton create more attacking chances on 79 and 82 mins, but their finishing is letting them down, whilst Stoke behind the guile of Deadfield, just can’t seem to find that magic touch around the Paulton goalmouth.
The game seems to be heading for a replay, when their is a penalty shout when Argent goes down, but the ref waves it away.
The ref has had enough and I think most of the 282 fans have as well, as he blows the final whistle.
Final Score: Paulton Rovers 1 – 1 Basingstoke Town
This was a far from impressive performance, and as Jason Bristow stated in the clubhouse after the game, that he thought 6 or 7 players under performed today, the travelling fans would have to agree with him about that.
However, it’s honours even and a replay at the Camrose Tuesday evening. Our best players were clearly Bayliss and McAdden, with a decent performance from Bennett as well.
Match Report by Martin French..