Evo-Stick South Premier Division South Saturday 23rd February 2019
Salisbury 2 v 1 Basingstoke Town Attendance 779
Yet another away game and despite how well you play, how well you defend, it comes down to another loss on the road. This week’s line-up ended with the following; 1.Tom McGill 2. Dean Stow 3. Rob Gerrard 4.Michael Atkinson 5.Charles Fox 6. Jack Wakely 7. Sam Smart 8. Kian Duncan 9. Sam Argent 10. Sam Deadfield (Capt) 11. Harry Pearse
On the bench; 12. Orvis 14. A. Harris 15 Hunt 16. Akers 17. Wright
The game got underway, with both teams having no real good attacking movements, but Salisbury with slightly the better possession in the first ten minutes.
The cagey start is broken as Stoke who create the first real chance on 16 minutes, as a good move from Deadfield & Pearse puts a through ball to the racing Argent, who shoots to the far post of the goal, but does not make the best connection and this allows the keeper to dive across and make the save.
Salisbury then force back-to-back corners on 21 minutes, but both are well defended, the first by Wakely, the second by McGill’s catch from the cross.
It is our turn to force two corners, the first is blocked away from a header from Gerrard and then a shot from Pearse is straight at the keeper on 29 mins.
Salisbury then have two minutes just after the half-hour, but each cross is either cleared by Wakely or the new boy Charlie Fox, as we are first to the ball and one poor shot that flies way over the bar.
Smart is now coming into the game and it’s he who creates the next attack down the right, who then feeds Pearse, but his shot flies over the bar.
Zidane Akers is warming up on the touchline and it’s clear Pearse is carrying an injury and will be the first substitution of the day on 35 mins.
This is a very drab affair and the game drifts towards the interval, with neither team honestly deserving to be ahead as the ref plays 3 minutes of injury-time before blowing for halftime.
The second half gets underway and Salisbury create an opening on 46 mins as the break down the left and then switch play to the right, where the Whites forward cuts inside, but again the shot is dragged wide of the goal.
Stoke now look more adventurous as we try to Akers down the left, but again the slick passing isn’t there and Salisbury are able to break up our attacks each time on 51 & 52 mins.
On 54 mins and a Whites forward misses a chance as he glances a header wide of the far post.
Then on 58 mins from a Stoke attack, Salisbury attack and from an initial good tackle by Wakely, they slot the ball through and Shepard slots it past McGill and we go behind 1-0.
Deadfield is now having to come deeper to pick up the ball, and on 61 mins, he does a neat turn and races away from two defenders, his pass to Akers down the left, allows him to cut inside, but the attack finishes with another poor shot by Stoke, Zidane’s shot flies over the fans heads behind the goal.
I wouldn’t say it’s end-to-end stuff, but Salisbury again send in another deep cross which is first headed away by Wakely and then Stow blocks the attempted cross.
We then attack again behind Smart’s run down the right on 66 mins, he cuts inside and slides it to Deadfield, who finds Akers just outside the box and sends a decent shot through the pack of players and forces a save from the keeper.
The home crowd are quietened on 70 mins, as they think they double the lead as the break down the right and crossfield pass is slotted home, but the linesman has his flag up and it remains 1-0.
Basingstoke are still in this game and we have a good 2 minute period after we make our second substitution as Duncan is replaced by Ben Wright. Deadfield, is a gain the provider for Smart who sends in a good cross, which evades the Stoke attackers.
The game still hasn’t really kicked in to life as we enter the final 10 minutes and Salisbury have an attack that Fox first blocks, but the rebound is then hit at McGill who makes a good save down low.
Then out of nowhere on 85 mins, we get an equaliser as we break with Deadfield who slides it to Wright who puts Akers away and he slots it past the out rushing keeper into the far corner of the goal. GOAL Salisbury 1 – 1 Basingstoke Town
Then on 88 mins, we have a real chance to go ahead, as Smart breaks down the left, we have a 3 on two and Argent is wide open at the, but Smart takes too long deciding what to do with the ball and his shot is poor and flies 2yds wide. Argent is not happy with that.
We are then made to pay for the miss, as they break down the left as we enter 90 minutes, as they break down our right, the good move allows a Salisbury player to outflank Stow and send in a cross to the far post where Fitchett nods it home and we trail 2-1.
The ref states there’s 5 minutes of injury-time, but the first 2 -3 mins is spent picking up Salisbury players up off the ground, as first a defender goes down on the ground, followed by the keeper.
Then the final chance to draw level on 94 mins, as the ball is put into a packed goalmouth area from a corner. Not sure who hits the ball (Deadfield?), but it’s blocked on the line and bounces upto Wright who can’t keep the rebound down and it flies just over the bar. That’s another chance wasted!
The referee has played the injury-time allotted and blows the final whistle and Stoke lose on the road twice in a five days.
Final Score: Salisbury 2 v 1 Basingstoke Town
Final thought’s – On a day where the game never really got going and we on the whole defended well, it proves that we can’t seem to see out the last 10 mins of games again.
Thought Wakely and Fox, kept Salisbury quiet for most of the game and Deadfield and Akers showed some urgency in the second-half, but in the end we leave Wiltshire with nothing to show for it.
Despite a good attendance the Salisbury crowd for a promotion chasing team were shockingly quiet for virtually the whole game, and yet again good travelling vocal support from our boys all-day.
Yet another away game up next as we head into London to take on Hendon next Saturday.
Match Report by Martin French..