To The Camrose, home of Basingstoke Town, for a big game. Town are 5th. in the League with 35 points from 20 games and City are 3rd. with 42. They are all 'must win' games from here on. Among Basingstoke ranks is former Saint Neville Roach.
For today, the Dynamic Duo selected Wilmot in goal; 4 at the back: Gledhill, Brown (C), Campbell, and Hollenbach; 4 in the middle: Oakes, Challinor, Castle and Kean; and up front: Crawshaw and Mackail-Smith. On the bench: Moran, Naylor, Martin Evans and Gould.
It's a strange game, football.
There was little of note to warm the small crowd, whatever their allegiance, in the first half until Roach put the home side ahead just before the break. Both defences had looked comfortable with neither keeper required to make a save worthy of the name. Little creative football from either side and, once again, a curious lack of passion on the part of the visitors. H.T. 1-0.
Perhaps tea-cups had been smashed and City started the second half in lively fashion and within a few minutes, The Saints equalised. A free-kick wide on the left was met with a powerful header by Brown which gave the home keeper, Scott Tarr, no chance. 1-1. City were the more likely to score for the next 20 minutes or so, but clear chances could not be made. Basingstoke weathered the storm and caught the City defence napping when a passing move across the visitors box was smartly finished by McAllister. City pressed but with a minute or so left, Roach made the game secure with his second goal after a fierce shot was well saved by Wilmot and the ex-Saint was first to the loose ball. F.T. 3-1.
Basingstoke are on a roll and will be delighted with the 3 points. The scoreline flattered the home side but The Duo will know that the work-rate was never enough. Sometghing is missing in the midfield and they need to find it soon while hopes of the title remain alive. Chances are not being created up front and the defence, sound through the lean spell of the past 8 weeks, is looking fragile on occasion.
The crowd was 320 or so with a disappointing and disappointed 150 Travelling City Faithful. MotM. Possibly Challinor or maybe I would drink the champagne myself.
Entertainment 5/10. Atmosphere 5/10. Technical Merit 4/10. Referee 6/10.
Report by Awayday