BY CALUM ANDERSON
On a cold Saturday afternoon Basingstoke Town, 17th in the Premier Division South, took on bottom side Staines Town. In the previous fixture, Basingstoke had run out 3-0 victors, so home fans were hopeful going into the game.
At 3.05pm the first of the thirteen goals rattled the net. It was Zidan Akers making it 1-0. Man-of-the-match, Manny Williams, picked out the winger who shifted the ball onto his right boot and struck it past the keeper.
Most of the early attacks came down that right-hand side that Akers held. He was once again found in space, as Staines were determined to leave four attackers upfield at all times. Akers’ counter-attack ended at Williams feet, but his shot rolled just wide.
An equaliser had seemed unlikely but was found when stand-in captain Sam Deadfield couldn’t control the fast paced, low cross and it deflected into McGill’s goal.
The Dragons looked to come back stronger, as tricky winger Sam Smart had the beating of the full-backs. His low cross evaded everyone in the six-yard area but Deadfield collected the loose ball and laid it back to Williams. The veteran forward’s curling effort clipped the outside of the post. Corners were key to Basingstoke on the windy afternoon. It was clear they had been working on these as Deadfield worked a short corner to his advantage. His shot was heading towards the top corner but a good save from Dixon kept him out.
The first booking of the game was for Dan Collier. His foul just outside the Basingstoke area gave Staines the chance to go into a lead. Jack Torbett stepped up and duly delivered a wonderfully curled free kick. It flew just out of the reach of McGill to put the away side into a 1-2 lead.
Basingstoke started to turn the screw. Deadfield’s low shot was too much for Dixon who spilled the midfielder’s effort to the on running Sam Argent. Argent’s effort to get a goal was smothered, this time. Then just seconds later Deadfield was involved again as his defence splitting pass found Smart. The winger’s shot was smashed just inches wide of the post. The home side were heavily on the front foot and the next player to have a chance was Akers. The winger was one-on-one but lifted the ball above the keeper and unfortunately for the home fans, the goal. Agile winger Smart showed the Camrose fans some brilliant skill. He was 7 yards out and sat two defenders down in front of goal with great composure. But his shot could not pass Dixon who spread himself well.
After all the pressure there was finally a goal. Williams found himself just inside the area and this time Deadfield rolled a perfectly weighted pass to him and he directed the ball into the top corner to equalise. Just seconds later Basingstoke were in the lead. This time Argent was the man to get his name on the score sheet. He had time to play a clever one-two with Williams, and his low drive beat all the bodies between him and the goal, to make it 3-2 before half time.
HALF TIME 3-2.
An acrobatic way to start the second half, as Argent tried an overhead kick. His wonderful attempt was for nothing, as the linesman had ruled him offside. The shot was beaten away as an awe-struck Camrose watched on.
Just seven minutes into the second half Williams had the ball in the net. He was found once again by Deadfield and another curled effort beat the on looking Swans goalkeeper. Right after Williams goal, Staines found a way back into the game once again. As it looked like winger Andy Ali was going nowhere, Rob Gerrard held his ground. Ali crossed the ball in but it flew over McGill and into the roof of the net.
The fifth goal for the home side came for Argent. At this point Williams had been involved in all four of the home side’s goals. Once again, he was the man to assist the goal. It came from high pressure as he won the ball out wide. His early cross found Argent in space who placed the ball into the bottom corner for his second of the afternoon.
Then Williams had a chance to complete his hat-trick. Basingstoke won a penalty after a handball in the area following a scrappy piece of play. Williams stepped up, placed it to the keepers left. And it was saved. Dixon got two strong hands on it and pushed it away.
Just a few moments later Basingstoke got their goal. Veron Kokurinkov put the ball into his own net as Smart worked his magic once again. Now playing on the right side, he skipped past the defender and drilled a low pacey cross. The Staines centre-back couldn’t sort his feet out and ended up putting it in his own goal.
Williams was on hand for the seventh goal for the home side. Smart’s low shot was saved and parried out to Williams. The Sierra Leone international laid it back to Deadfield, a man who had deserved a goal. He curled it into the bottom corner with his wand of a left foot.
Another man looking for a goal, Collier had another strong effort cleared off the line. Now, with the score at 7-3, it was more poor defending by the away side. The half time team talk from Martin Kuhl had worked wonders. Basingstoke looked like a quick and hungry side and did not let up. With the game entering the final 15 minutes. Ollie Harris got his first Basingstoke goals. The second half substitute was finding space on the left side and Smart’s cross, low and hard, had gone through everyone. Harris was the last forward going for the ball and rolled it past the keeper before quickly joining Williams and Argent on two apiece. A carbon copy of his first goal, once again picked out by Smart’s cross. All the way from winger to winger, Harris tucked it home to make it nine goals to three.
The final goal of the game came for winger Smart. Williams laid it off once again for the winger to run at the goalkeeper. He rolled it past him and celebrated with an exasperated front roll. This goal made it five assists for Williams during the game. Into stoppage time and Williams once again found space in the box. Only for the final shot of the game to be deflected wide and unfortunately for the fans not even man of the match Williams could take the ball home with him.
FULL TIME 10 (TEN) – 3.
Basingstoke Town XI: Tom McGil, Jim Orvis, Dean Stow, Matthew Casey, Rob Gerrard, Dan Collier (Aiden Harris), Sam Deadfield (c), Zidan Akers (Oliver Harris), Manny Williams, Sam Smart, Sam Argent (Dean Allen).
Subs not used: Liam Hunt, James Granger.
Staines Town XI: Louis Dixon, Mohamed Roundi, Jordan Harrison, Luke Wright (Michael Anastasiou), Veron Kokurinkov, Bill Montague, Andy Ali (Lewis Lavender), Yiannis Constantinou, George Pilbeam (c) (Massil Chabane), Che Krabbendam, Jack Torbett.
Subs: Alexandru Lazurca, Gabriel Piorkowski.