Match Preview: Bet Victor Division One South
Winchester City v Basingstoke Town
When: Wednesday 1st January 2020 Kick-off 3pm
Where: The Simplyhealth Ground, Hillier Way, Winchester. SO23 7SR
Winchester City (Nickname – The Citizens), Average 2019-20 Home Attendance 159
Well we begin 2020 with the reverse game of our ground hosts, as the visitors, with the likelihood the game will go ahead.
Having played the Citizens as the home team back in August 2019, where we were held to a 1-1 draw and our first league point of the season. Taking the lead behind Claudio Herbert’s stunning breakaway and finish. However, after failing to double our lead, we were pegged back before halftime. The second-half saw both teams create and miss chances, and the game finished 1-1.
Since that first Meeting Winchester City Manager Craig Davis, has taken the team on an impressive run and they sit in an impressive 5th place in the league as we set to play them.
Their current record stands at PLD 16 WON 9 DRAWN 3 LOST 4 GF 33 GA 23 PTS 30. Whilst we had our last game lost to the weather, the Citizens faced a tough match-u against second-placed Thatcham Town, which despite a close battle, they lost 2-1.
Prior to that result they had beaten Willand Rovers at home 3-0 and a similar 2-1 loss on the road to league leaders Frome Town.
The Citizens home form is pretty decent with 4 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss from 6 games. Their leading goal-scoring threats will come from 30-year-old forward Simba Mlambo with eight goals. Mlambo, previously played for Alton Town & Fleet Town. In midfield they have the experienced Jamie Barron, who re-signed from Gosport Borough who has also added eight goals, and is team captain. Midfielder Robert Carr has also added six goals, so goals could come from various areas of the team.
Manager Craig Davis will clearly be looking to keep up their promotion chasing run when they host us.
Well as your all aware your Basingstoke Town team, sat idle as the Winchester pitch was under water for our Boxing Day match-up game against Moneyfields.
Prior to that, we simply need to forget last week’s kick-in-the-teeth result at Cirencester Town, where we had the game in control, only for a second-half performance that simply was not good enough for the management and travelling fans.
With that latest loss, we still sit in 19th place with our record now as PLD 17 Won 3 Drawn 3 Lost 11 GF 24 GA 45 with 12pts.
The Cirencester game saw forward Ben Wright missing, and it was Bradley Wilson who led the forward line, as he not only scored through a deflected shot, he set-up Claudio Herbert, for his chipped goal and also came close to adding his second with a scorching shot that had the keeper beaten. However, second-half, we receded to the pressure that the home team put on us, and we created very little of note, when we needed to get that vital equaliser.
Assuming Wright is back, he is likely to start alongside Wilson as we need to take the game to Winchester.
With the midfield stacked with attacking players such as Claudio Herbert, Harrison Cliff, Jordan Edwards, Riccardo Andrady, Ben Cook and D’Andre Brown, it was sad to hear that impressive loan player Aaron Kuhl, has returned to Slough Town. It was also announced that winger Reece Rusher was released from the club, after failing to earn a starting role at the club.
In defence we must simply need to shut down the attacks, that seem to occur down our flanks week after week, and with Dan Brownlie looking for new players, a dominant defender who can win the ball in the air, must have been on his Christmas wish-list.
The return of Scott Armsworth would also help in the centre of defence, as he has impressed fans, when he has played.
I expect at least one new player to be at the club in time for the game, and it will be strange that our players will use the away changing room for this game.
With both teams having played on this pitch a number of times, it is difficult to predict how this game will play out, but the weather is expected to be dry, so the pitch should be fine for the battle expected.
With a limited train service running on New Year’s Day, I expect and hope a number of fans will attend the game and get behind the team. It is expected that we could outnumber the home fans for this game, so let’s get behind the team and hope we can return to Basingstoke with some points.
Hope you all had a great Christmas, and I wish you all a Happy New Year to you all.
Match Preview by Martin French..