Match Preview: Basingstoke Town v Bideford AFC Saturday 7th December 2019

Match Preview: Bet Victor Division One South

Basingstoke Town v Bideford AFC

When: Saturday 7th December 2019 Kick-off 3pm

Where: The SimplyHealth Ground, Hillier Way, Winchester. SO23 7SR

Bideford AFC (Nickname – The Robins), Average 2019-20 Home Attendance 200

Well we enter the month of December in what could be classed as a critical game for the club? Firstly we need a reaction, a positive one I mean, from last weeks one-sided game at Frome Town, and secondly we face a Bideford team, who until their win last week, were in the relegation zone along with us.

Bideford, will be the second of three teams in a row nicknamed the Robins, were in action this week as they drew 2-2 at home to Evesham Utd. A brace of goals by forward Ryan Turner, allowed them to lead 2-1 at halftime, but the visitors levelled it up with 7 mins to go, to share the points.

Prior to that their 3-0 home win last Saturday against Cirencester Town, had halted a four-game losing streak.

They are managed by ex-league professional Sean Joyce, who has that rare feat at non-league football of having managed at one club for over 20 seasons, when he took charge at the Devon side back in the 1998/99 season.

The Robins sit in 14th place with an overall record of PLD 13 WON 4 DRAWN 2 LOST 7 GF 21 GA 27 PTS 14.

Their leading goal-scorer is 26-year old Ryan Turner with five goals, whilst midfielder 27-year old local teacher Sean Downing has three goals. Two other players Jack Rice-Lethaby and William Tucker, both with three goals have since left the club.

Bideford’s exploits in the three cups, FA, FA Trophy and League Cup all fell at the first hurdles this season.

Defensively, like Willand they have an experienced back four with an average age of 28 years of age, so they will look to handle our young players in the same way.

The Robins away record is nothing special, with just 1 draw and 5 losses from 6 games. The one draw came at Larkhall Athletic, back at the end of August.

Despite all this they will take the long trip to Winchester knowing that if they can defend well, they may leave with some points.

Turning to your Basingstoke Town side, we will need to forget the past month and especially last week, and look to focus on how we can improve our goal-scoring.

Yes, defensively we need to improve, but with just four goals from our last four league games, you’re not going to win many points in this league.

Well after last Saturday’s league results that all we went against us, we slipped down another place to 19th in the league and sit with a record of PLD 14 Won 2 Drawn 3 Lost 9 GF 18 GA 37 with 9pts.

With Reuben Collins out for some time, keeper Freddie Gee and Ryan Suckling picking up injuries the previous mid-week, along with D’Andre Brown, they all missed the trip to Somerset.

New signing Durell Brown, started at Frome, but left the pitch hobbling last week, so it must be hoped that some of them will be fit and in contention this week.

Unless Dan Brownlie is able to find a different attacking option, our forwards consist of Ben Wright & Kalum Cousins. Yes we have an abundance of attacking midfielder/wingers, but currently none seem to have the knack to put the ball in the net with any regulatory, which is why we sit in this worrying league position.

Our wins in league and cup this season, have had scorelines of 4-3, 3-2, 3-2 and 4-2, so unless something significantly changes, then chances (which we create), need to be taken.

The pitch at Frome was as expected a bumpy, muddy sloped pitch, which did not suit our style of play, but with us back at Winchester and the weather dry for most of the week, the pitch should be ideal for our attacking style.

With Bideford’s poor away record, it is clear they are there for the taking, and maybe we need to adopt a more attacking formation for this week’s game.

However, whatever formation is selected, it simply needs the players to execute Dan’s game-plan and the first goal could be critical on Saturday.

It is time for our young squad to come-of-age, step up to the challenge and play to the level we know they can. If we can, we will surely win.

It’s our last home league game before Christmas and as I stated this last time and it applies even more so, is that we simply need to get behind our team. They need your support more than ever!

If coming by train, please check the train times, as they have changed due to an ongoing rail-strike.

Match Preview by Martin French..