Monday Morning Quarterback 2020-21 – Issue 3
Ok, come on everybody, are we not all sitting here happy but still amazed by the start our team has made this season, and with our win Saturday putting us top of the table.
In the past week we have won twice more, as last Tuesday, in hopefully our last ever home fixture at Winchester, we probably had our best all-round performance in that 2-1 home win against a good-looking Sholing side. A brace by George Reid, the second being an absolute pearler of a goal, was enough to hold off a late fightback by the Boatmen.
Then on Saturday, our latest away trip, we possibly had our worst overall performance but came away 6-3 winners at Cinderford Town.
We started poorly, as we were second to the ball and allowed the homeside far too much space as they attacked down both flanks. However we were surprisingly the team to open the scoring with a nice move and finish by Bradley Wilson from about 8yds out.
Julian Schwarzer continued his impressive start to his Stoke career with some nice saves, before we doubled our lead by Ben Cook, who got his first of hopefully many goals this season, with a well-timed shot. Julian then made two world class saves, before unluckily conceding a goal that seemed to allow Cinderford back in. Nevertheless, we were then given a welcome boost just before halftime, when Dylan Ive’s hopeful shot from 35yds somehow found its way under the keeper, and for those fans who were stood behind the goal, watched the ball hit the post and what seemed a lifetime it took to finally spin over the line.
That 3-1 lead was then increased within a minute of the restart, when a lovely cross, was met by Wilson’s sweet volley into the net. Cinderford continued to look dangerous on the attack, but it was Stoke who increased our lead again through another fine finish and the third for Bradley Wilson. We had made a double substitution prior to this with George Hallahan and the first league game for club captain Simon Dunn and if anything the double change seemed to give Cinderford a kick-start as it seemed to give them even more space in midfield and it was no surprise when they got a goal back, mind you when they got another their were a few Stoke fans who were starting to worry, as a few more half-chances for Cinderford, fortunately failed to find the net.
In the end a mis-timed tackle on Lloyd Snell, gave us a penalty, and George duly slotted it home to seal on paper only a comfortable 6-3 victory.
Even better news then came through that Sholing had left Cirencester with a 2-0 win, which mean’t we moved to top spot in the league.
In the eight years I have been following Basingstoke, I have never seen us top of any of all the leagues we have been in, in recent years.
We are also now the only unbeaten team in our league!
It is good to see young Lloyd Snell being given more playing time, and each time he has shown signs that he is not out of his depth, and he looked lively last Saturday and earned the late penalty though his own skill, as he took the ball into the penalty area, before having his shooting foot taken away from him.
Bradley Wilson’s superb performances, finally got the reward they deserved with three well-taken finishes.
It was also good to see new fans or at least more fans start to attend our away games, but as always, a winning team will bring new or old fans out to watch your team.
Taking a quick look at our playoff rivals, Cirencester who were top, faced Sholing at the Corinium stadium and it was Sholing with two late goals that not only sent them to defeat, but were the first goals they had conceded this season.
In third sit one of the pre-season favourites AFC Totton, who had a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Bristol Manor Farm. All three goals came in the first-half with a brace by Brett Williams.
Below Totton are Paulton Rovers who have won back-to-back games on the road, which included Saturday’s 1-2 win at Moneyfields.
In the last of the playoff spots, sit Highworth Town who upset our friends Melksham Town 0-1 on the road.
Our next league game on the 24th October we host AFC Totton hopefully at our new temporary home at Winklebury.
As of today our league table looks like this at the top.
The Top Five in Our League
Whilst the season has just started, I will not add the bottom of the table and hopefully we will not appear in it this season.
Highest crowd of the weekend was Melksham v Highworth Town with 397, whilst the lowest was just 83 at the Slimbridge v Barnstaple Town game.
Our Basingstoke Town Goal Scoring Chart continues to take shape and with 18 league goals this season from 5 games, it is striker George Hallahan who leads the way five, but with McCoy Palmer close behind him.
|Name||League Goals||Cup Goals||Total|
Ok with the latest round of the FA Cup this week, there are no games scheduled in the league games this week. The two remaining teams in our league face the following FA cup match-ups;
Sholing v Walton Casuals
Weston-Super-Mare v Larkhall Athletic
Next weekend there are currently no games scheduled in our league, as the FA Trophy takes centre stage and Stoke are back on the road, as we visit fellow league side Moneyfields, which is situated in the City of Portsmouth.