With the game in doubt due to the heavy rain througout much of the day, it passed any pitch inspection and the game got underway under the new crowd restricted guidelines at Andover New Street.
Basingstoke’s side still missing a few players, did see the welcome return of Simon Dunn to the line-up, with a number of academy players filling places in the active squad for the match.
A very competitive opening period, as both teams came to terms with the wet pitch and swirling windy conditions, but it was your Stoke side who started to create the better attacking moves and finally took the lead through a controlled finish by George Reid who rounded the keeper and slotted the ball home.
Stoke also struck the bar in the first half, and with better finishing should easily have doubled their lead before the break.
The second-half got underway, as another wave of rain, swirling in the wind, hit the Foxcotte Park ground, and Stoke continued on the front-foot through the attacking play by Dunn, a new trialist upfront and the energetic pairing of Harrison Cliff and Ben Cook, and it was not long before the Andover side gave way to the continous pressure.
The goal coming from a corner, was met by a fine glancing header by Scott Armsworth, who beat his marker to the cross, and the ball flew past the keeper and into the net.
The home side did create the odd chance and were unlucky not to pull a goal back, as a fearsome shot hit the bar and somehow rebounded away from the goal.
However it was clear, Stoke’s better fitness started to show, and the third goal, was a well built passing move from the back, which fell to incoming academy player Joe Western, whose shot was struck just enough to cross the goal-line.
Further goals should have been forthcoming, but good chances were missed by a couple of Basingtoke players.
However, with the game heading into injury-time, it was the speedy Mikey Davis who finished with aplomb as he chipped the oncoming keeper to make it four for Stoke on the night.
Final Score: Andover New Street 0 – 4 Basingstoke Town
Wrap Up Notes: Thanks must go to Andover New Street, for hosting the game.
Up Next: Saturday’s behind closed doors friendly at Winklebury against an expected strong Marlow side. Please note however, fans if socially distancing, can still have a good view of the game behind the fencing surrounding the pitch. This will be Stoke’ final preparation game before their Tuesday night FA Cup Extra-Preliminary round game against Bournemouth Poppies. Kick-off 7,45pm at Reading City’s Rivermoor Stadium.