Stoke Win 3-1 In Final Pre-Season Friendly At Farnborough

In the last friendly of the pre-season, your new-looking 2020-21 Basingstoke Town side travelled up the M3 to take on rivals Farnborough.
Although both teams were playing triallists, both teams still put out very competitive sides in a game, that was initially at a high-speed pace.
Neither team really could find that final pass or finish early on, as the battle for control of the midfield took place, and Harrison Cliff’s energy and determination was backed by Ben Cook’s touch and pass control as we started to create more pressure on the Farnborough side.
The opening goal was the start of a bad night for the homesides keepers, as we approached halftime, when a tame shot from 25yds by George Hallahan, went through the experienced keeper Liam Beech’s hands then legs and into the net.
However, just seconds before the halftime whistle, a Boro attack, saw a poor clearance by a Stoke defender, which fell at the feet of a Boro forward allowing him to slot the ball past Julian Schwarzer in goal.
The second-half saw both teams make a few changes, with at least George Hallahan, James Smith and George Reid
being replaced as Bradley Wilson, Adam Everiss and also D’Andre Brown’s first appearance of the season, enter the fray.
It was Stoke who started the second-half the better and get back in control of the match, and after a couple of good chances, a lovely move down the left wing allowed Bradley Wilson to neatly finish in front of the goal as he put us back in front.
Farnborough made more changes in an effort to get back into the game, but if anything Stoke seemed to take more control of the game, and some lovely attacking breaks, should have allowed us to increase our lead.
It was however strange when we deservedly double our lead, as a pass over the top of the Boro back four, saw Bradley Wilson chase the ball down, only to see the replacement Boro keeper, make a complete hash of his clearance, which allowed Bradley to run on and tap the ball home into an empty net from 15yds away.
Stoke continued to make more chances, which included a sweet move down the right, that deserved a better finish, when it was hit at the keeper.
Boro did create a couple of chances and came close to pulling a goal back, but Stoke could and should have added to their tally on the evening, but when the final whistle came, had deservedly won 3-1.
Final Score: Farnborough 1 v 3 Basingstoke Town

Note: Straight after the game in a pre-agreed gesture for Farnborough, there was a penalty shoot-out, which when I was leaving had us trailing 3-2 after 3 penalty kicks each.
Up Next: A second free saturday will be replaced by our next venture in the FA Cup, as we host Chichester City at Winchester this coming Monday night (14th), with a 7.45pm kick-off.