Monday Morning Quarterback 2019-2020 Issue 22 Upon Further Review
For those fans who took the time to come to yesterday’s game, instead of the moaners and gripers who continue not to support our club, we deservedly moved back off the bottom of the table with a 2-1 victory.
We created numerous chances and initially in the first half the same old near misses either side of the post occurred, but we finally broke through on the verge of halftime as Simon Dunn slotted his second chance home.
An early second-half goal, should have been the sign for the floodgates to open against a team that was simply hamstrung by this weeks player departures.
However, as we started to miss all of those chances, and especially when Simon Dunn was substituted, Mangotsfield came back into the game. In goal Watkins probably had his best game since being here, but for almost an hour he wasn’t really troubled.
What was noted was Dunn’s class, as he seemed to read the game and was full of energy going forward. Depending on how Dunny’s body reacted to his first competitive game of football for a while and how he trains this week, then we hope he can last closer to the full game. Other players of note apart were of course Harrison Cliff who has solidified the midfield as well as his role in the team. Ben Cook who seemed to be in a more attacking midfield role and both George Hallahan and Bradley Wilson caused the Fields back four trouble all day long. It was also good to see Scott Armsworth back on the field and the defence looked pretty secure for 70 minutes.
Overall we looked so much faster up front, and this put constant pressure on their defence, and this helped us create those number of chances. I’m sure when Hallahan gets to know his teammates more, those chances will continue and hopefully put away.
On the downside, from Saturday, was the understanding that defender Alfie Saunders loan deal has to come an end and will return to Forest Green next week. It’s not clear if we will be allowed back on loan to us.
The further bad news was made aware after the game, that goalkeeper Freddie Gee, will be out for the rest of the season following his latest injury a couple of weeks ago.
There is still plenty of time to turn this around and we have some very winnable games still to come, and need to pull away from the bottom as soon as possible. Our next four games after (Mangotsfield Utd 3pts) are now, Melksham Town (A), Moneyfields (H) and Paulton Rovers (H), Thatcham Town (A). What would you hope, or be happy to get from these four games, pointwise?
Have Thatcham Town burst their bubble, as they have now lost three on the bounce, as they lost mid-week in the battle for the top 3-0 at Frome Town, then Saturday they came away from 3rd placed Larkhall Athletic, with another defeat losing 2-0. A pair of first-half goals by Alex Lambert, were more than enough to deal with Thatcham who fall to second-place.
At top are Frome Town who not only beat Thatcham in the week behind a Jonathan Davies hat-trick, on Saturday went on the road winning 1-2 at Slimbridge. Frome now hold a four point lead, but have played one more game than Thatcham Town.
Whilst Larkhall are in third, in fourth sits Winchester City who continue their poor run of form, this time losing 3-1 at Cinderford Town. Their last four games, has seen them with two draws and two losses.
In fifth we have Paulton Rovers who have regained their earlier season form and last Saturday had the fortune to play Barnstaple Town. The game in Devon, took an early advantage to Rovers, A headed goal, the first of three for David O’Hare started the game and then a straight red card for handball, and Ben Bament slotted home the penalty. Two further first-half goals by David O’Hare and Marcus Day gave them a four goal lead. O’Hare then picked up his hat-trick early in the second-half, before a second yellow card for skipper Liam Gregory saw Barnstaple reduced to nine men. The fact that only one further goal (Marcus Day), was added in the last 35 minutes of the game, must have been a surprise to the home crowd, as Rovers run out 0-6 winners.
In sixth are Melksham Town who are up next for us on the schedule next Saturday.
The Top Five in Our League
The Division One South league goal-scoring chart.
A goal by Ben Bament and four goals in a week by Frome’s Jonathan Davies sees a new look at the top of the goal-scoring chart.
|Ben Bament||Paulton Rovers||18|
|Soloman Wanjau-Smith||Slimbridge AFC||17|
|Jonathan Davies||Frome Town||17|
|Kyle Tooze||Thatcham Town||15|
|Lee Chilton||Evesham Utd||15|
|Lewis Powell||Larkhall Athletic||15|
|Luke Ballinger||Melksham Town||14|
|Felipe Barcelos||Thatcham Town||13|
|Daniel Demkiv||Mangotsfield Utd*||13|
- No Longer in the league
Ok with the bottom two games already covered above, in 18th sits Moneyfields took a one-nil lead on the stroke of halftime on the road, through their leading goal-scorer Stephen Hutchings. However, the second-half was to turn very quickly as Cirencester fired back into the lead with three goals in twelve minutes of the restart. A fourth was added on 90 minutes as Cirencester ran out 4-1 winners. Moneyfields still have a four-point advantage and game in hand over Us.
In 17th sit AFC Totton who pulled back a two goal halftime deficit to earn a point in 2-2 draw at home to Bideford Town.
Above AFC Totton sit Mangotsfield, but despite their loss to us, still hold a 13-point lead over bottom-placed Barnstaple Town.
The other two games that do not concern the top or bottom of the tables were Bristol Manor Farms goal-less home game against Highworth Town and Sholing who continue on their good run of form with a 1-0 home win against Willand Rovers. Sholing did however leave it late scoring on 92 minutes.
Highest Crowd of the weekend was your Basingstoke Town side with 299. Whilst the lowest was 102 as Slimbridge hosted the league leaders. re were two matches that didn’t even manage three figures, as Moneyfields (74), were pipped to the lowest crowd by Paulton Rovers with just 73 against Cirencester Town!
The Bottom Five in our League Now Looks Like This
* Point deducted for illegal player.
Basingstoke Town Goal Scorers Chart (Well George Hallahan leaps up the table after just 45 minutes of play.)
|Name||League Goals||Cup Goals||Total|
|Zach Robinson *||3||3||6|
|Reece Rusher *||1||0||1|
* Players no longer with the club
Ok, currently there are four games this week, with three being on Tuesday and Highworth’s home game against AFC Totton on Wednesday.
However of those three Tuesday night matches, one of is of huge significance to us, as Barnstaple Town host Willand Rovers. Let’s hope Willand can do a big favour by taking all three points. I am hoping but not 100% sure that the two Barnstaple players who received their marching orders Saturday will start their one game ban at this game. The other two matches that night are Moneyfields who host Mangotsfield. It will be interesting to see what they do against them, and fourth-placed Winchester City host third-placed Larkhall Athletic.
Moving onto the only other important game this weekend, apart from ours of course will be Barnstaple’s visit back to Winchester to take on City.