Monday Morning Quarterback – Week 13 Upon Further Review
Well the half expected loss at Salisbury on Saturday did occur, however this time there was a lot more fight and better defensive play, in what was a fairly drab affair, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon down in Wiltshire.
Basingstoke with yet another new central defender, Charlie Fox, looked composed at the back and were the first to create that half chance, but Argent’s mis-timed shot failed to beat the keeper. The loss of Pearse just past the half-hour affected how we set-up going on, but we went in the break goal-less. Although we played better in the second-half and created chances, after they went ahead, we were always chasing the game and despite a good finish by Akers, this is the second game now where after levelling the game late, we seem unable to hold on to that point.
Back-to-back 2-1 defeats has put our survival on hold again, as head to a massive game next week at North-London Hendon.
With just ten games to go, five at home, five away, the team will need to dig deep, and I think a minimum of 46 possibly as many as 48 points will be needed to avoid the drop. With Staines Town possible relegation confirmed next week, it leaves Frome Town as the next club in serious danger of facing the drop, as they sit 6 points adrift of the rest of the teams fighting to stay up. That would leave one team to sit in the final relegation spot.
As I write this, Harry’s dad has confirmed that he is unlikely to play in the more important Hendon game with a pulled hamstring injury.
Matches Around Our League
Ok with a full schedule of matches in our league this weekend, as normal I will start with the league leaders Taunton Town and their home game against Farnborough. Taunton took the lead on 14 mins behind Shane White’s goal and then doubled it after a 76 minute penalty conversion by their leading goal-scorer Andrew Neal and despite an injury-time goal from Michael Elias-Fernandes, Taunton held onto win 2-1 and maintain their 5 point lead at the top. It is also interesting to note the crowd trouble at the game as it is reported that a Farnborough fan threw beer at one of his own players who didn’t take too kindly to that reacted, then there were more issues as Farnborough players reacted to taunts from the Taunton fans.
With Salisbury covered, 3rd placed Weymouth hosted Welsh-Boys Merthyr Town and a brace of goals by leading goal-scorer Brandon Goodship who put the home side up at halftime. Merthyr then levelled on 56 mins via Ryan Prosser’s goal, but then the second by Goodship (a penalty) on 64 mins, was enough to give Weymouth all 3 points in front of 715 fans.
In 4th remains the Met Police after they ended their winless run of games with a 0-5 thrashing at poor old Staines Town. A first half double by Max Blackmore, was then added by Chislett, Hippolyte and Gilbert in the second half.
In the final playoff place sits Poole Town despite going down 4-0 at 6th placed Harrow Borough, who won for the first time in five matches. A pair of goals by both Frank Keita and Anthony O’Connor, were enough to keep Harrow just 3 points behind with a game in hand.
Ok, the top of the table looks like this;
At the bottom of the table Frome Town in front of just 176 fans suffered another blow in their relegation fight losing 0-2 to Chesham Utd. The Generals goals were scored by David Pearce on 49 mins and Eoin Casey in the 95th minute.
At the start of the day in 20th place was Hartley Wintney, but a 1-0 home win against Tiverton Town, via a goal by Matthew Drage on 75 mins moved them out of the relegation zone and up into 17th place, but also sent Tiverton closer to the bottom, who now sit in 19th place.
In 20th now is Walton Casuals who lost on the road to Wimborne Town 3-0 at the Cuthbury. Wimborne now 10th for the fourth game running scored 3 goals and for the fourth game running prolific striker Toby Holmes bagged a brace. The Magpies 3rd goal was by Stefan Penny. Walton now without their leading goal-scorer James Ewington who joined National League South team St Albans City last Wednesday, now look in deep trouble and have to travel to nearby Harrow Borough on Tuesday evening.
In 18th slot is Dorchester Town, who lost 2-0 at the improving Swindon Supermarine. The Marine picked up all 3pts with second-half goals by Henry Spalding and Stuart Fleetwood.
Gosport Borough who were sitting in the relegation places just over a week ago now sit in 16th place after another solid performance after they thumped our next week’s opponents Hendon at Silver Jubilee Park. Borough took the lead on 18 mins from a Tony Lee header and it stayed that way until Borough’s Mike Carter was dismissed with five minutes to go before halftime. However, all that seemed to do was kick them back into life as they added a second goal just 60 seconds later when George Barker smashed a 45yd volley into the roof of the Hendon net. Second-half goals by Tony Lee and Ryan Pennery sealed the game in front of 226 fans. Hendon now sit in 15th, just one place below us.
The last game in our league was the Kings Langley 3-0 victory at home to Beaconsfield Town, who are now winless in their last five matches and are slowly slipping down the table and sit in 12th place now.
In the relegation places none of the bottom three played, therefore the table remains as shown;
Basingstoke Town leading Goal Scorer Chart
With just the one goal at Salisbury last Saturday, we now have 61 on the season and Sam Argent still heads the goal-scoring chart. Will he hit 20 on the season in the league?
Sam Argent 12
Dean Stow 9
Sam Deadfield 7
Sam Smart 6
Harry Pearse 4
Zidane Akers 4
Jack McKnight 4 (Eastleigh Town)
Ben Wright 3
Manny Williams 2 (Slough Town)
Dan Collier 2
Oliver Harris 2
Own Goals 2
Callum Bunting 2 (Departed)
Dan Bayliss 1
Shane Hollamby 1
Games This Week
There are five games in or league this week, four on Tuesday which include the 3 games that can affect our position and one game on Wednesday (Taunton Town vs Swindon Supermarine) which clearly does not.
Chesham Utd (13th) vs Gosport Borough (16th)
Harrow Borough vs Walton Casuals (20th)
Hartley Wintney (17th) vs Wimborne Town
Your MMQ – Martin French