Monday Morning Quarterback – Week 21 Upon Further Review
For those who attended our game down in Dorset, you would have seen how starting poorly we fought back once we made changes at halftime, only to let that valuable point slip away to a goal 10 minutes from time.
When you consider this was team a fighting for the playoffs, and if they had taken their first-half penalty, we could and should have been more than just the two goals behind. Clearly the two injuries to their players unsettled their side, but the tactical change we made clearly had Poole under pressure. Consider that they would have set up for Smart, who predominantly takes the ball outside on his right, for then to face Rusher in the second-half who does the exact opposite and takes the ball inside on his left.
I was asked to cover the topic of continuously playing out the back, no matter the circumstances by a couple of supporters in my match report, which I did, but will add it here again. Sorry, I just don’t understand how this helps the team, as the vast majority of times, we end up having to just hastily hoof it upfield anyway, but waste 30 seconds doing it. It has caused us numerous problems and goals this season and looked even worse when with four minutes of injury-time on Saturday, we wasted most of that time still trying to play it out from the back.
On another note, we have always moaned about the state of the Camrose, and yes it has its faults and it looks run down, well actually it has been since the owner announced he was to leave the club, but compared to some grounds in this league, it is still a far more impressive ground than most.
The Black Gold Stadium, not sure what constitutes a stadium, is a very ordinary looking ground and like a few teams that have been segregated at this ground this season we were subject to the bare minimum of services. The end we were put in, was the only end with any cover and our approximate 50-60 fans, had just two single portabin loos and a small food hut as far as I’m aware serving no hot food and very little else apart from hot drinks or water.
Anyway, moan over as the Black Gold Stadium isn’t the worse in our league by a long way, just the way they treat away fans.
Basingstoke now know that Saturday’s home game at the loveable Old Dump is now probably a must-win game against Frome Town, if we are to steer clear of this relegation mess.
Matches Around Our League
Well League Leaders Weymouth were dealt a blow, as their march towards the League Title was temporarily halted at Holloway’s Park, as Beaconsfield Town in front of 297 (triple their average crowd), scored the only goal on 69 minutes by forward Charlie Losasso. The Terras still hold a five-point lead over second-placed Taunton Town who put a dent in playoff hopefuls King Langley 2-1 at the Viridor Stadium. Two goals within 6 minutes of each in the first half (31 & 37), by their leading goal-scorer Andrew Neal, were enough to seal victory, as the Kings could only respond through a Stephen Ward goal on 63 mins.
In 3rd placed sits the Met Police despite a 1-0 loss at Swindon Supermarine. The only goal of the game was scored by Harry Williams just after halftime.
In 4th place still sit Salisbury who put last week’s loss at home to Gosport aside, as they did a number on Dorchester on their own park. Salisbury according to reports, should have been three-up by the time they did actually open the scoring on 21 minutes, through a Thomas Whelan low shot. This was followed by a Claudio Herbert volley just 8 minutes later and this remained the scoreline, despite numerous other chances. The Whites added their third on 47 minutes via a Christopher Shephard rebound finish and continued to dominate the game and Shephard added his 2nd and Salisbury’s fourth from a thunderbolt free-kick. If Shephard’s goal was good, the one goal that Dorchester could muster on 82 mins by Billy Lowes, was an even better strike. The 1-4 victory leaves Salisbury just three points behind 2nd-placed Taunton and a possible easier playoff game against Poole Town or Kings Langley.
With Poole Towns victory and as stated Kings Langley’s loss they switched places due to the Dolphins better goal-difference.
Weymouth still need five points from their last three games to guarantee them winning the league and to advance to the National League South.
At the bottom of the table the Staines Town guess the result competition goes on as no-one was able to predict Chesham Utd’s 7-0 thrashing of the Swans. Chesham scored early and often starting in the 6th minute with a goal, the first of a Jefferson Louis hat-trick, which was followed just 4 mins later by a Luke Heneghan goal. Eoin Casey got the third on 15 mins, and a fourth was added on 20 mins by Lewis Rolfe. Eoin Casey got his second and Chesham’s fifth on 26 mins. Jefferson Louis then got his second before halftime, as Chesham lead 6 – 0 at the break. Chesham like a few other teams have then appeared to have let-up on the goal-scoring against Staines in the second-half, as the only addition was Jefferson Louis who got his hat-trick on 90 mins.
Frome Town’s status in the league remains by a thread as they lost at home to 0-1 to a Steven Duff 70th minute goal for Hartley Wintney.
Gosport Borough who I had predicted would beat Merthyr Town at home, gladly went and proved me wrong, losing 0-3, which also improve our goal difference against them. Ryan Prosser got the Welsh team on the board on 12 mins and it remained this way till the break. Merthyr got their second just after halftime when their leading goal-scorer Ian Traylor netted, and the three-points was secured with a third goal by Kieran Lewis on 86 scoring minutes.
Just outside the relegation zone, was another important match-up as 17th placed Tiverton travelled to West London and came away with all three points at 19th placed Walton Casuals 1-2. Goal-less at halftime, Tiverton’s main man Levi Landricombe put them ahead just two minutes after the break, when he slotted the ball home, when Walton’s static defence allowed him to pounce on the ball first. Walton then equalised just three minutes later through a Cole Brown penalty conversion, but the away team nicked the winner when a 25yd swerving shot by Josh Key on 63 minutes, sent all three points back to Somerset. This pushed Tiverton all the way upto 14th in the table because of their goal difference, however some good news for those at the bottom, is that was Levi Landricombe’s last game of the season. Not sure why but their website confirms this. Walton still sit in that precarious 19th place, just two points ahead of Gosport.
Before 3pm Saturday, Wimborne Town sat in 18th and on a disastrous run, but they put that all aside as they won on the road at Harrow Borough 0-2. Goals either in each half, Jordan Lee on 32 mins and a Matthew Oldring strike on 69 mins, gave the Magpies the win and pushed them upto 16th and now an invaluable five points ahead of Gosport.
Hendon who looked to be safe, dropped to 17th after they lost 3-0 at Farnborough. A goal by Connor Cullen on the stroke of halftime, put the hosts ahead, who then added goals through another new player Robert Hylton-Bartley on 59 mins and then a 68th minute strike by Kurtis Cumberbatch, completed the scoring. Hendon like Wimborne still look to be safe.
Going forward I have now increased the relegation table to show the bottom five clubs, however if it continues to keep this close, I may need to add the bottom seven or eight;
|Staines Town (R)||39||4||0||33||12|
Basingstoke Town leading Goal Scorer Chart
The two goals at Poole Town now leave the goal scoring chart with 75 league goals as;
Sam Argent 14
Dean Stow 9
Sam Deadfield 8
Sam Smart 7
Ben Wright 6
Harry Pearse 6
Zidane Akers 4
Jack McKnight 4 (Eastleigh Town)
Own Goals 4
Manny Williams 2 (Slough Town)
Dan Collier 2
Oliver Harris 2
Callum Bunting 2 (Departed)
Dan Bayliss 2
Shane Hollamby 1
Yvan Jourdan 1
Reece Rusher 1
Games This Week
Just one mid-week match this week as a number of teams are playing County Cup final this week. This game is Tuesday night’s match between Beaconsfield Town and Merthyr Town.
It’s getting squeaky bum time at the bottom, of the table that is, as we head into this Saturday’s home fixture against Frome Town.
Your MMQ – Martin French