Bet Victor Division One South – Wednesday 1st January 2020
Winchester City 5 – 1 Basingstoke Town Attendance 342
Where: The Simplyhealth Stadium, Hillier Way, Winchester. S023 7SR
Stoke’s performance is simply not good enough as we sink to another defeat.
Manager Dan Brownlie with a number of changes, went with a starting line-up of; 1. Aaron Watkins, 2. Aiden Harris, 3. Alfie Saunders, 4. D’Andre Brown 5. Dean Stow (Capt) 6. Ryan Suckling, 7. Jordan Alves, 8. Ben Cook, 9. Ben Wright, 10. Jordan Edwards, 11. Bradley Wilson
On the bench: Riccardo Andrady, Harrison Cliff, Mikey Davis, Durell Brown & Lionel Masudi
Basingstoke kicked the New Year off with us attacking the clubhouse end in the first half, and neither team could put anything of note together in the first five minutes.
On seven minutes we are able to break away down the left wing, the ball is sent across into the heart of the goalmouth, but the Centurions are able to clear and break down the left, the ball is worked into our penalty area and shot finds the back of the net, but the linesman’s flag is up and the goal is disallowed for offside.
The home side (Winchester), are starting to come forward and on 19mins they work it to the edge of the right hand side of the penalty area then slip it to the left, but a wild shot is sent 10yds wide of the far post.
On 22mins they break down our left again and a low cross is met on the volley and the shot hits the side-netting.
On 26 mins, it’s the Centurions back on the attack and they win a free kick, just outside the box on the right-hand side. The kick initially blocked, is sent back across towards the far post, where an attacking forward fortunately volleys over the bar.
Just past the half-hour, it is Stoke have an attempt on goal, when they win a free-kick 30yds out. Dean Stow’s kick beats the defence and bounces awkwardly in front of the diving keeper, who has to parry it away, but with no Stoke player nearby, Winchester are able to scramble it away. We are then made to pay for that missed chance, as they break down our right and win another free-kick. The cross is met with no challenge and the ball is headed home from 6yds out and we fall behind again. Winchester 1-0 Basingstoke.
We then shouts for a penalty on 35mins, as across in from the left has one of our players pulled by the shirt, but unsurprising the referee waves it away.
Another break, another attack down the left and Aaron Watkins, makes a good a save low down.
Then we commit the fatal mistake of being unable to clear the ball on four occasions, and the ball is slipped out to the left-hand side of our goal, and a low-shot finds the far corner of the goal and the Centurions double their lead (37mins).
Aaron Watkins is then forced to make a reaction save, as another attack down the left is sent across, is met well and the shot is flicked by Aaron onto the near post and we scramble the ball away.
We hold it at two as the halftime whistle goes.
The second-half gets underway, much like the end of the first, as Winchester seem to pick up any loose passes and break into our half time and time again.
One of these attacks down the left allows an easy pass across the penalty area, and a shot is met pushed out by Aaron Watkins for another corner. The corner is met by another Winchester forward who heads home to make it three-nil.
We then make two changes as Riccardo Andrady & Lionel Masudi replace Jordan Alves and D’Andre Brown.
Then on the hour, yet another simple move down the left and another shot forces another save by Watkins, as he pushes it wide for a corner. This corner is met by a low diving header at the near post and we slip four goals behind.
The larger Stoke travelling fans are not happy with this performance and a number of cries go out from around the ground.
It is then Stoke who have a brief spell of pressure created by the wing-play of Riccardo Andrady, and one of these attacks on 70mins whose run and cross sees, Ben Wright just get a touch on the ball before being pulled down by his defender. Again cries for a penalty are waved away, and the Stoke fans let the referee aware of their thoughts on his performance.
We then make our third substitution, as Harrison Cliff replaces a somewhat lacklustre Ben Wright performance.
It’s Andrady again who links up with Cliff and a nice cross is met by new boy Masudi whose header is straight at the keeper, who makes a comfortable save.
Oops, it’s now five as another simple Winchester passing movement, creates another straight forward chance and the ball is put away. City 5 – 0 Stoke.
Despite this we are back attacking and on 79 mins Wilson has his legs clipped inside the box and the referee waves this one away.
Winchester have two more chances, one blazed over the bar and Watkins with another save down low to his right.
Then on 84 mins and out of nowhere the referee finally gives us something after another cross by Andrady is met by Wilson, and what appears to be a miss-timed tackle by a City defender, allows the man in black to award us a penalty.
It’s Wilson who steps upto take it, but my video effort of the penalty kick is ruined, as the kick flies way over the bar and into the field behind the goal.
Some Stoke fans have had enough and are on their way out, and the game is petering out, but as we enter the first minute of injury-time, we finally find the net as Wilson slots it home from close range. GOAL! Winchester City 5 – 1 Basingstoke Town
It’s game over and the new year start, is made even worse as those teams around all seem to win.
Final Score: Winchester City 5 – 1 Basingstoke Town
We are back down here in Winchester on Saturday, this time in a crucial home game against Sholing.
Match Report by Martin French..