BY NICK WILSON
Basingstoke make the journey north to Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday, looking for just their second league win on the road at the seventh attempt. The team will hope their impressive home record will continue on the road with a run of four away matches out of the next five in all competitions.
Tomorrow’s opponents Bishop’s Stortford lie 18th in the league after relegation from the National League South last season. After initially struggling this season, their last five matches have seen their first three wins in the league, albeit two of those against bottom two sides Gosport and Dunstable. That run of form was followed by a 1-1 draw against Chesham in midweek, a side who were soundly beaten 5-0 early this season at the Camrose.
Basingstoke will face a tough test in a defence that has conceded just 14 goals so far in 11 games, bettered by just 3 sides in the league and none outside the top six. Saturday’s visitors will go into the match with renewed confidence after back to back impressive home victories, with both recent signings Sam Argent and Callum Bunting amongst the goals already.
With just three points from six away games, form on the road has been holding the side back and they will be keen to right that in an attempt to push on towards the playoffs. With the squad looking as strong and deep as it has since relegation, there will be an air of expectation from the travelling contingent that they will make the journey back to Hampshire with all three points.
BY NICK WILSON
Basingstoke failed to find the net for the first time in 11 games as they fell to defeat to newly relegated Bishops Stortford at the ProKit UK Stadium.
The hosts had the first chance of the game while Basingstoke went closest in the opening stages. Dipo Akinyemi squandering a good chance from the edge of the box before Charlie Kennedy broke upfield and fed Sam Argent, his poked effort rebounding off the base of the post. The home side starting gaining the upper hand though as they looked to move the ball around quickly to open up space.
Darren Foxley twice tested Colm McAdden before the pressure eventually told. Tyrique Hyde skipped past George Bennett before drilling a low cross through the box. McAdden could only palm it clear and Freddy Moncur pounced to dispatch the loose ball into the net to put his team ahead.
Basingstoke struggled to create many chances, Argent working hard for little reward upfront but on the stroke of half time it could’ve been 1-1. Bennett curled a pinpoint cross to the near post and picked out Ben Wright, but Tyler McCarthy produced a stunning save to keep out the forward’s header.
Two changes at half time saw Michael Atkinson and Callum Bunting introduced as Basingstoke looked to get back into the game. Sam Smart had a golden chance when another Bennett cross found him just six yards out but he contrived to head over from six yards out. The hosts dished out further punishment as Akinyemi capitalised on a mix-up at the back. Shane Hollamby and Dan Bayliss competed for the same aerial ball but with neither managing to clear it, Akinyemi was allowed to run beyond them and slot past McAdden to double the lead.
Dan Collier and Kennedy both shot narrowly off target in the closing stages and the home team almost had a third as Akinyemi rounded McAdden, but found himself unable to squeeze home into the empty net from a tight angle.
FULL TIME: 2-0
Basingstoke team: McAdden; Johnson-Schuster, Hollamby (Demuria), Bayliss, Bennett; Collier, Kennedy, Smart, Wright (Atkinson), Artwell (Bunting); Argent. Subs not used: McKnight, Wohlfiel.
Bishops Stortford team: McCarthy; Casey, Ekpiteta, Robinson, Tumwa; Hughes (Westcott), Hatton, Hyde (Richefond), Foxley; Moncur, Akinyemi. Subs not used: Rogers, Thomas.
Ahead of our upcoming fixtures, be sure to visit Bookmaker Advisor for the best list of odds and bookmakers in the UK.