BY MACAULAY DALEY
Basingstoke’s U21’s ran out convincing 4-1 winners against Moneyfields thanks to braces from Jordan Goater and Luke Richardson.
Neville Roach fielded five trialists in his starting 11 and it was one of them, Murphy Duncan, who had the first real chance, heading over the bar from a corner.
Basingstoke were in the ascendancy in the opening exchanges, but fell behind in the 19th minute. Following a slip from Charlie Dean, the Moneyfields winger curled an unstoppable shot over Giovanni Zabotti into the top corner.
However, the away side’s lead lasted just five minutes. After Charlie McCann’s shot was saved, Richardson followed up and arrowed his right-footed effort into the far-left hand corner of the goal.
Basingstoke took the lead on the half-hour with Goater’s effort from outside the area fumbled into his net by the away goalkeeper.
The hosts started the second-half as brightly as the first and nearly found themselves 3-1 up, but James Batchelor’s shot was agonisingly wide of the far post.
It was not all one-way traffic though and Zabotti had to be at his best to push away a free header from inside the area.
Some smart link up play between Richardson and Batchelor on the right saw the ball find itself to Kieron Rodgers one-on-one with the ‘keeper, but his effort clip the crossbar.
Two goals in as many minutes then put the game beyond the travelling side and secure the three points for Basingstoke.
Goater scored his second after Rodgers had a shot well saved and then from the resulting kick-off, a lackadaisical pass from Moneyfields saw McCann’s crossfield ball find Richardson, who smashed the ball into the roof of the net.
Goater had the chance to complete his hat-trick in the 71st minute, but he fired wide when up against the away ‘keeper.
FULL TIME 4-1
Basingstoke team: Giovanni Zabotti; James Batchelor, Murphy Duncan, Guri Demuria, Kallum Thomas (Charlie Dean); Charlie McCann, Jake Eshelby, Aidan O’Kelly (Callum Collins); Luke Richardson, Kieron Rodgers (Kylen Lewis), Jordan Goater. Subs not used: Ross McKernon, Luke Cox.