Isthmian South Central Division – Tuesday 1st February 2022
South Park 0 v 1 Basingstoke Town Attendance 89
Where: King Georges Field, Whitehall Lane, South Park, Reigate RH2 8LG
Wilson’s first-half goal enough to earn all three points at South Park
With Haworth absent through injury, tonight’s line-up was; 1. Paul Strudley, 2.Daniel Williamson, 3. Daryl Wollers, 4. Robert Sheridan, 5. Nathan Smart, 6. Ben Cook, 7. Simon Dunn (Capt), 8. Bradley Wilson, 9. Conor Lynch, 10. Stefan Brown, 11. McKoy Palmer,
On the bench: Brody Peart, D’Andre Brown, George Reid, Aiden Lewis & Anton Rodgers
Referee – G Warren
The game got underway with Stoke attacking the small covered end in the first half, and it soon became apparent that the heavy bumpy pitch would play a significant part in tonight’s match.
Stoke made initial attacks down both wings in the first five minutes, but the final pass was either blocked or the pitch affected the pass.
It was still Stoke on the front-foot, and on ten minutes a through ball was initially controlled by Bradley Wilson, but despite then bouncing away from him he was able to ride one tackle and hit a low right-foot shot, past the huge South Park keeper into the net. GOAL ! South Park 0 v 1 Basingstoke Town (Wilson 10 mins)
It was still Stoke coming forward and a nice pass from Smart set-up Conor Lynch down the right, who took on and beat his defender before sending over a low cross, that is hacked clear by their No.5.
On 23 mins a further chance for Wilson, but his shot flies over the bar.
Minutes later the first sign of any real attack from the home side, but the pitch and Daryl Wollers snuffs that attack as they enter the penalty area.
On 32 mins we have back-to-back corners, but again South Park are able to deal with each one.
The game continues to have any real smoothness to it, but Stoke still look more likely to double their lead.
On 38 mins we win another corner, which Sheridan wins, but his header unfortunately flies wide of the post.
With five minutes to go till halftime South Park win a corner, but Paul Strudley, comes and claims the cross.
South Park have the next attack but we shut down a neat passing movement, that forces them to shoot from outside the box, and the shot is easily saved by Strudley in goal.
On 43 mins we win a free kick down the right after a nasty tackle on one of our players, and their defender goes in the book. The kick by Cook is met by Lynch whose snapshot strike flies just over the bar.
Then on the stroke of halftime, we create another chance as Stefan Brown slides the ball to McKoy Palmer, who takes it down the left but his cross is knocked out to the right, where Lynch retrieves the ball, beats his defender and hits a shot that hits the outside of the post and goes out for a goal-kick.
The referee blows for halftime, with Stoke leading by the solitary goal, but in reasonable control of the game.
Halftime – South Park 0 v 1 Basingstoke Town
The game gets back underway, with no changes by us, and we are first to attack, but the ball through to Lynch is given as offside.
Good work by both Dunn & Cook, as Dunn wins the tackle and finds Cook who stops, turns on the ball then finds Palmer down the left, but his cross takes a deflection that rolls to the keeper.
South Park, then have their next real attack of the game, when their No.7 attacks down the right, and his cross into the six-yard area, is half-cleared by Williamson, but falls to another Sparks forward, who hits a shot that again is blocked by Smart, who is able to clear the ball further downfield.
With under 30 minutes to go, it is Stoke regaining control in the middle of the pitch, but again the pitch does not help smooth and easy passing, add this stifles our next two attacks.
Our next attack on 66 mins is started by Stefan Brown who neatly slides the ball to Wilson, who takes on and beats his marker, then finds Lynch, who looks to shoot from just inside the box, but again a defender frustrates him, by putting a leg out to block the shot.
It appears we make our first change with D’Andre Brown replacing McKoy Palmer.
South Park have their best chance of the game on 75 mins but again our back four is able to repel the Sparks attack.
Then somehow their huge keeper remains on the pitch as a through ball to Lynch who touches the ball just as their keeper absolutely flattens Conor. Calls for a red card come from the touchline, but the referee decides to be lenient and shows just a yellow, as a covering defender may have got a cross in time.
Now with just minutes to go we make our next change with Brody Peart replacing Conor Lynch.
The Sparks still have time to attack once more but again work from Wollers and Sheridan put a stop to it, as they are able to shut down a shot or pass, and we clear to the halfway line.
We are now deep into injury-time and Stoke are using the corner to hold the play in their half.
The referee has finally seen enough and blows the final whistle and Stoke deservedly go home with the points.
Final Score: South Park 0 v 1 Basingstoke Town
Wilson 10 mins
The three points were vital in a game we looked in control for periods of the match. A clean sheet on a night that the pitch did not help for both offense and defensive play. Back into the playoffs with some real big matches coming up later this month.
We travel back up the M3 M25 Junction 8, this time to the tiny village of Chipstead in Surrey for our latest playoff adventure.