Isthmian South Central Division – 13th November 2021
Basingstoke Town 3 v 2 Tooting & Mitcham Utd Attendance 653
Where: Where: Winklebury Complex, Winklebury Way, Basingstoke. RG23
A battling performance earns Stoke three points and we jump upto third place
Dan Brownlie’s much changed starting line-up for today’s match was: 1. Paul Strudley, 2. Aiden Lewis, 3. James Haworth, 4. Bradley Wilson, 5. Jon Boardman, 6. D’Andre Brown, 7. George Reid, 8. Ben Cook, 9. Stefan Brown, 10. McKoy Palmer, 11. Simon Dunn (Capt)
On the bench: Lloyd Snell, Daniel Williamson, Jack French, Joe Western, & Joel Halliday
Referee – T Baines
With a very-much changed line-up and a large Tooting fanbase in attendance, the game got underway with Stoke attacking the carpark end, and Stoke attacked down the left from the kick-off and the ball was slid into Simon Dunn, who finished with aplomb, leaving the visitors stunned GOAL ! Basingstoke 1-0 Tooting & Mitcham Utd (Dunn 1 min).
The next few minutes sees both teams break to each other’s penalties areas, before being broken up.
The next action of note sees our striker Stefan Brown being replaced by Lloyd Snell after receiving treatment for a couple of minutes.
It is the substitute Lloyd Snell who has the next chance after breaking down the right and let’s fly a shot from the edge of the penalty area that the visiting game makes a good save.
Then on 14 mins, Tooting break down the right, and are allowed to turn and beat our defender and let’s fly a thunderous shot that smashes against the bar and bounces away, with James Haworth hooking the ball away.
Lloyd Snell then goes in the book on 19 mins.
On 20 mins, the inspired change of playing Bradley Wilson at the back works, as a ball over the top of Aiden Lewis, sees Bradley come across and make a timely clearance.
On 26 mins after a little pressure from the visitors we again break down the right through Snell, this time his shot is blocked by a Tooting defender, but drops to Simon Dunn, who sends the ball out to the left wing, where McKoy Palmer cuts one way then the other and sends over a low cross that has Reid hitting a shot from 5yds that is again blocked clear once more.
On 28 mins, Lewis is beaten to the ball and their forward takes the ball to the left-hand edge of the penalty area and unleashes a powerful shot that takes a slight deflection of a Stoke defender, towards the goal, but just flies past the far post and out of for a corner. It’s Ben Cook’s powerful header clear that then set’s up another attack, and Lloyd Snell is put through and slides the ball past the Tooting keeper, but it all counts for nothing as the offside flag has gone up.
On the half-hour another good passing Stoke move again us failing to get the final touch on a cross by Palmer.
Tooting then have the next few minutes of play, but a cross from the right-hand side flies across the face of the goal. They then win a free-kick just outside our penalty area, but the free-kick when taken although well struck, flies two yards over the bar.
Again Stoke when we break look the more dangerous, but the keeper comes to their rescue when Snell beats two defenders, but can’t beat the oncoming keeper.
Then on 41 mins, from a Tooting attack that starts down the left is then switched out to the right wing and a dangerous looking cross is met by a Tooting head and the game is all tied-up (1-1).
On 44 mins it is James Haworth who goes on a 40-yard run across the halfway line, but then takes a wild shot from 35yds that flies 15yds wide of the right-hand post.
The two minutes of injury-time is played out and the referee blows for halftime.
Halftime Basingstoke Town 1 – 1 Tooting & Mitcham Utd
The second-half gets underway with no changes by either side, and it is Stoke who look to be the more aggressive as George Reid send over two crosses from the right-hand side, which both are headed away.
Tooting have their next attack of note on 49 mins, as they break through the middle, which is initially blocked but falls to another Tooting player, who sweeps a shot that flies past the far left-hand post.
On 51 mins, some nice work by Snell and Reid, allows Reid, to cut inside and takes a shot from 25yds out directly in front of goal, but it is always just bending away from the left-hand post.
A minute later and it is Stoke attacking again through Snell down the right, who slides it to D’Andre Brown, who slides it out to the left where Dunn finds Palmer who close to the by-line lets fly a shot that the keeper does well to hold on to.
On 53 mins, Stoke make their second change of the game, as the new starting centre-back Jon Boardman makes way for Daniel Williamson. Williamson takes up the right back role, moving Lewis across to the left-hand side with Haworth moving into the centre-back role with Wilson.
Then within the same minute, a clearance into our half looks to have Wilson drag down a Tooting forward, however the free-kick is given to us. Then without warning the ball is thumped up deep into the Tooting half, splitting their defence where Reid out paces his defender and with the keeper coming out, he sends a right foot shot past him and into the far corner of the net. GOAL !! Basingstoke 2-1 Tooting & Mitcham Utd (Reid 53 mins).
The next two minutes has Tooting back on top, but fail to really create anything of note on our goal. It is more Reid, again down the right as he seems to float past their defenders, but his cross just flies out for a goal-kick.
It is Reid who then goes in the book for what was an innocuous tackle on 57mins.
The game seems to have gone in a slight lull as both teams cancel each other out, but then Tooting force a corner down the left and from the corner their player gets what seems a free-header and when are gain back level (2-2).
On 66 mins we are again pushing forward down the right and this time Reid engages the support of Williamson who sends over a cross that is initially blocked back out to Reid, who then finds Dunn who sends over a cross that is headed out to Lewis, who hits a volley from the edge of the penalty area, but it flies just over the bar for a goal-kick.
It is again Stoke pressing forwards and a lovely ball splits the two Tooting defenders and finds Snell who breaks 30yds into the Tooting penalty area with the ball, but just as the keeper comes out, the ball bobbles away from him, but the keeper fails to hold onto the ball, and it drops back to Snell, who from an acute angle crosses the ball and the ball is cleared away from the goal-line by a Tooting defender straight to D’Andre, who takes a touch then fires a shot back towards goal and it hits a Tooting players arm and the ball is hacked clear. There are loud calls for handball, and the referee agrees and blows for the penalty.
After a minute of major argument by the Tooting team, up-steps Bradley Wilson sending the keeper the wrong way, as he slides foot it into the bottom-right corner of the goal. GOAL !!! Basingstoke 3-2 Tooting & Mitcham Utd (Wilson 70 mins Pen).
The Tooting team are clearly upset with the penalty decision, and before the game gets back underway a Tooting player sees his name in the book.
We then make our third and final change on 73 mins, with the ever-hard working Simon Dunn, being replaced by our other new-signing Jack French.
On 79 mins Tooting have two minutes of full-out attack. They win a corner after a good blocking tackle from Daniel Williamson. The corner has Strudley palming the cross away, but Tooting retrieve the ball and this time sends a cross, come shot from the right, that Strudley gets the faintest of touches and it flies out for another corner on the left, This corner has Strudley go up and make a superb two-hand catch, which brings out great cheers from the large crowd today.
We then have the next couple of minutes of play, with Reid and Snell on the ball, but we fail to put anything of note, on their goal, then we win a free-kick about 30 yds out which is initially blocked away, and falls to Cook whose shot sees the ball fly wide of the right-hand post.
Heading into the last five minutes, Tooting again push forward, but a superb header clear from Wilson, relieves any worries.
On 88 mins, Reid is pulled down just outside the penalty area. It’s Reid who takes the kick, and his powerful shot beats the wall has the keeper frozen, as the ball flies a yard wide of the far post.
The Stoke faithful, who have seen us concede late goals recently are now checking their watches every minute, as we head into injury-time.
Fortunately, Tooting are not Bracknell or Uxbridge, and they give away two fouls in the space of 90 & 91 mins which allows us to play out time.
Now four minutes into time a Tooting attack ends harmless as the Tooting forward fails to hold onto the ball, and rolls out for a goal-kick.
A minute later with Stoke holding onto the ball deep in the Tooting half, we win another free-kick, which once the kick is taken, the referee blows the full-time whistle on a thoroughly entertaining match and Stoke get back to winning ways.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 3 – 2 Tooting & Mitcham Utd
Dunn 1 min, Reid 53 mins Stewart 41 mins, Hamlin 62 mins
Wilson 70 mins (Pen)
Some surprising but successful changes, and a 100% commitment saw us over the line, in a hard thought match we deserved to win. The three-points with others teams absent this Saturday, allows us to leap four places upto third place.
Up next is our third home game in a row as we host a difficult match-up against Chertsey Town this Tuesday evening 16th November 7.45pm.
Match Report by Martin French..