BY NICK WILSON
The new league season continues with a quick turnaround on Tuesday night as Basingstoke return to the Camrose for the first home game of 2018/19. Beaconsfield Town are the opponents and the second newly promoted team Basingstoke will play to begin the campaign. Tuesday’s visitors also drew their opening match, coming from two goals down to earn a point against Salisbury thanks to second half goals from Jerome Eccleston and Charlie Losasso.
Callum Bunting scored the third goal on Saturday to give his side a late lead and he’ll be fully motivated to make it 2 in 2 against his former side after scoring freely for Beaconsfield in Division One while Sam Deadfield also got off the mark for the season at the weekend, making it 5 goals in 9 league games for the midfielder since returning from injury at the end of last season.
Last season ended in triumph for tomorrow’s visitors as they won the Southern League Division One East to take their place in the seventh tier for this season, amassing 92 points and winning 29 of their 42 games and they look to take that momentum into this year and prove they have what it takes to compete at this level.
Like Walton Casuals on Saturday, the Rams are playing in the Southern League Premier for the first time in their history and will arrive at the Camrose with two familiar names in their ranks, Wes Daly and Kezie Ibe. Daly played over 100 games for Basingstoke between 2011 and 2014 while Ibe was part of the Hampshire Cup winning side in 2013-14.
The home team will be confident after adapting to the blow of conceding so early in the opening match and causing Walton plenty of problems going forward and the focus will be on tightening up a defence that limited Walton in open play but appeared susceptible to set pieces. It’s sure to be an enthralling game and we hope to see as many fans as possibly as the Camrose opens its gates for the first time in its final season with both sides aiming for their first win of the season.
BY LEWIS BIGMORE
Under the lights at The Camrose, Basingstoke Town FC were able to get their first three points of the season versus Beaconsfield Town. Following on from the dramatic 3-3 draw away to Walton Casuals on Saturday, the team and ‘Stoke supporters were keen to get the win on Tuesday evening.
For the opening first twenty minutes or so, neither side were able to keep a hold of possession and little was happening in the way of attacking opportunities. It took till the 22nd minute for a clear chance to present itself, resulting in Beaconsfield taking the lead against the run of play.
Moving across the halfway line, the Mayowa Balogun launched the ball high up into the air and into the penalty area looking for a teammate. The ball landed on the head of Louis Stead who wrestled off the Basingstoke Town centre backs and placed his effort over Colm McAdden.
Instead of the home side hiding away and going into their shell, the team reacted in the best possible fashion and became proactive in finding an equaliser almost instantly. Akers continued to trouble the right and left backs with his pace and burning desire to create chances.
On the half hour mark, Sam Smart levelled things up for Basingstoke with a deflected solo effort. Moving down the left wing and taking on Reece Yorke, he cut in onto his right foot before taking aim for goal. The ball travelled 25 yards and courtesy of a deflection, Ravan Constable, the Beaconsfield goalkeeper had absolutely no chance keeping it out.
Following the equaliser for the Stokes, the home team pushed and pushed with Bennett turning provider with a wicked cross that Smart was unable to convert.
With half time approaching and Basingstoke showing plenty of attacking intent, drama unfold at The Camrose. It all began with Sam Smart and his fantastic ability to make room in the box. Receiving the ball just outside the area, he made his way into the Beaconsfield box, ready to pull the trigger. An instant red card was shown for Jordan Ajanlekoko after pulling Smart down and the referee pointed to the spot.
Up stepped Smart to take the lead from the penalty spot… saved! The Beaconsfield keeper saving low to his left to keep the scores level going into half time.
HALF TIME: 1-1
Within ten minutes of the restart, Akers was in the right place and right time – setting off after an amazing over-the-top pass from Sam Deadfield. Akers took the ball down with a perfect first touch and managed to cut inside onto his right foot. On the edge of the box, he wrapped his foot around the ball – curling the ball past the outstretched goalkeeper.
It was the perfect response to the red card just before half time and managed to set the tone for the remainder of the match where Basingstoke Town continued to dominate possession.
It could – and perhaps should – have been a third goal for the ‘Stoke with Deadfield coming close from a cracking cross from Sam Smart. For the countless time on Tuesday, Smart was able to beat the opposing left back and deliver the football into the box. Evading everyone but Deadfield at the far post, he got his foot on the ball with the fingertips of the Beaconsfield keeper only just keeping it out of the net.
Approaching added on time at the end of the game, Beaconsfield did try and push for the equaliser – Basingstoke however stood tall and dealt with the few dangerous corners that came in. The final whistle went much to the jubilation of the home crowd and Basingstoke got their first win of the season!
FULL TIME: 2-1
Basingstoke team: Colm McAdden; Dean Stow, Shane Hollamby, Dan Bayliss, George Bennett; Dan Collier (Jim Orvis), Michael Atkinson; Sam Smart, Sam Deadfield, Zidan Akers (Jack McKnight); Sam Argent (Callum Bunting).
Subs not used: Harry Philby, Ben Wright.
Beaconsfield team: Ravan Constable; Jerome Eccleston (Charlie Losasso), Reece Yorke, Luke Neville, Mayowa Balogun; Dan Brown, Wes Daly, Jordan Ajanlekoko, Louis Stead (Tre Mitford); Alexander Cathline (Stefan Powell), Brendan Matthew.
Subs not used: Andre Costa, Omar Vassell.