Match Report: Stoke fall out of League Cup on penalties to Moneyfields

Bet Victor League Challenge Cup 10th September 2019
Basingstoke Town 1 – 1 Moneyfields Attendance 76
Moneyfields win 5 – 3 on penalties
Where: The Simplyhealth Stadium, Hillier’s Way, Winchester

The stars simply aren’t aligned as we go out on penalties.

With the availability of the three new player loanees and a late defensive signing Martin Kuhl made significant changes for the second level Cup competition as he started with 1. Chris Rackley, 2. Alfie Saunders 3. Adam Everiss, 4. Dean Stow (Capt), 5. Reuben Collins, 6. Scott Armsworth, 7. Claudio Herbert, 8. Ben Cook 9. Ben Wright, 10. Zachary Robinson, 11. Harrison Cliff

On the bench; Aiden Harris, Andrew Charsley, Riccardo Andrady, Reece Rusher and Mikey Davis

With the temperature dropping as the floodlights took full effect the game kicked off in what was a sparse crowd of home fans and it was Stoke with the first chance on 2 mins, as Harrison Cliff is put through just to the right of the goal, and he takes two touches before firing a shot that beats the keeper, but also just narrowly beats the far post.

A minute later and the away team have their first chance as a free-kick to the far post is headed back across and there is a block from a shot, and we are able to scramble the ball clear.
We are looking the more adventurous, but it’s Moneyfields who create the next chance on 9 mins, as we lose the ball in midfield and the attack ends up with a shot that Rackley parries away.

It’s then our turn to create a chance as the new loanee right-back Alfie Saunders charges down the wing then turns and passes to Dean Stow, who sends in a curling cross that is met by new loanee striker Zach Robinson who although wins the header it fins the side netting of the goal. A minute later we win our first corner after good work from Robinson and Everiss, but the corner is cleared.

On 15 mins and following another attack, we win a free-kick about 23yds out directly in front of the goal. Stow, takes his normal run and sends a beauty that starts just a little too high and it dips just over the bar.
Stoke continue to be on top a for the next few minutes but the keeper is able to claim both crosses from Wright and Saunders.

Then on 21 mins Cliff who is been extremely lively tonight makes a lovely tackle and takes two touches before sending a screamer from 30yds, that the keeper is just able to push over the bar. Nothing occurs from the corner

Everytime Moneyfields come over the halfway line, the clear class of Reuben Collins appears as he snuffs out two attacks with calmness and feeds a Stoke player down the left wing both times.

On 25 mins, and somehow we still haven’t taken the lead, as another Stoke challenge allows Cliff to breakaway away again, his shot is pushed back towards the six-yard area where Herbert tries to win, but the ball falls back to Cliff who has got past the keeper but with an acute angle hits the post and Moneyfields clear.

On 31 mins after more Stoke pressure, a shot from Wright has the keeper pushes it away but his defender chests it back to the keeper.

On 37 mins a Moneyfields attack and cross, is again snuffed out by Collins who calmly chests the ball down, in front of the goal takes a touch then passes it out to Saunders on the right.

Stoke are still the team on the attack, but the Moneys keeper is equal to anything that is put in his area.
The ref blows the halftime whistle on an eventful night where Stoke had the better of the chances.

The second-half gets underway with the exact opposite to the first-half, as the first few minutes sees neither team is able to put more then two passes together.

On 51 mins, we win another corner after good work by Cliff. The corner is punched half-clear, but the ball is knocked back by Collins and the ball bounces around the 6-yard area before the ball is again pushed clear, back to Cook whose shot is sliced over the bar.

No, No, No, on 54 mins a harmless punt upfield his headed straight by a defender to Wright who from 35 yards, hits a first-time volley, that initially looks to fly way over the keeper and over the bar, only to suddenly dip and smash against the cross bar and out with the keeper bemused.

Then two half attacks are not dealt with by Rackley who fails to come and claim the ball, one is hoofed clear by Everiss, the other the Moneyfields forward fortunately fluffs his shot.

It’s Claudio Herbert’s first of many second-half shots on goal, as he breaks down the left cuts inside but his shot his pushed away by the keeper.

On 60 mins and it’s the visitors turn to hit the post from distance with Rackley beaten, but Everiss is able to clear the rebound.

Then there are two crazy minutes of play, as for the umpteenth time this season, we play pinball in the opponent’s penalty area. This time our attack by Cliff creates a shot by Cook who shot is punched out only for it to fall to Cook, whose shot is blocked to Herbert, who sees his shot blocked on the line and back to Collins whose shot is also blocked, but this time the ball is thumped up field and the Moneyfields forward is clattered by an out coming Rackley, just outside the area. The poor challenge produces a straight red card for Rackley whilst the visitors forward receives treatment.

After what seems an eternity, we replace Armsworth for Andrew Charsley who dons the goalkeeper’s jersey. The free-kick is finally taken and although it beats the wall, Charsley rather than picking it up, side-foots it away from the goal.

Then with 10 men it’s the Herbert shooting gallery time, as on 68, he has four shots on goal in the space of a minute, the first is blocked back to him and his follow-up shot is pushed clear by the keeper, but the ball finds its way back to Herbert, who cuts inside and hits another shot that hits a defender and the follow-up shot is blocked by another defender, but this time it falls to Wright, who touches it to his right and hits a low shot that to me takes a slight deflection, but its past the keeper and in the net finally and no more than we deserve GOAL! Basingstoke Town 1 – 0 Moneyfields.

We then have the next attack on 73 mins, as good play by Wright feeds Robinson in the box who rather than touches it to an open Ben Cook, he tries to turn, and his shot is easily blocked and cleared.
Charsley then makes a fine save on 78 mins as Moneyfields are using the extra player well, as they pass the ball from one side to the other, which results in a shot/come cross that our keeper punches well clear.

The next few minutes see our tiring players chase down everything, as we start to retreat a little further in our own half.

On 80 mins a comical moment as Moneyfields win a free-kick in front of me deep in their own half. Whilst they make a substitution. Assisted by a few friendly word of advice by a couple of fans the referee insists the Moneyfields defender retreats a further 10yds down the touchline to take the throw-in.

We continue to defend and a great sliding tackle by Saunders is one of the highlights.
We are now playing injury-time and we are still able to defend with Collins & Cook making good tackles.
On 93 mins Cliff is replaced by Rusher.

Then on 96 mins, a Stoke defender is alleged to have fouled a Moneyfields player. The in-swinging cross flies over to the far post where two visiting players somehow force it over the line, and we are back to square one.

A further minute is played which includes a Charsley save, before the referee blows the full-time whistle and its straight to penalties.

Up first a thunderbolt from the visitors, straight at Charsley who just can’t keep it out.

Ben Wright levels 1-1

Moneyfields scores 2 – 1

Reece Rusher’s shot is saved

Moneyfields score 3 – 1

Dean Stow scores 3 – 2

Moneyfields score 4 – 2

Ben Cook scores 4 – 3

Moneyfields score win 5 – 3 on penalties.

Game over and we are out of the League Cup

Match Report by Martin French..