BY NICK WILSON
Basingstoke’s quest for a fifth consecutive league victory takes them to Ladysmead to face a Tiverton Town team that have started the season very well after being promoted back into league for the first time since 2011 when they were relegated after finishing 20th. Promotion was achieved at the sixth attempt last season via the playoffs, beating locals rivals Taunton Town in the semi final before a 2-0 victory at Salisbury secured their return.
So far this season, the Devon based club have gained 16 points from their seven matches, enough to have them sitting in 5th place, the final playoff spot. An indifferent away record (1W, 1D, 1L) has been countered by an excellent run of results at home giving Basingstoke the tough task of attempting to become the first side to take points from Tiverton on their own patch this season. Basingstoke will be hoping the momentum gained from their recent run of form will propel them to their second away victory of the season and cut the gap to the playoffs.
Sam Deadfield’s return to fitness continued on Tuesday night with 80 minutes in the 2-0 win over Merthyr Town while Basingstoke are hoping for good news over Ashleigh Artwell. Tiverton meanwhile welcome loan signing Ben Carter back to the club and he will be available tomorrow.
BY NICK WILSON
A spirited second half fightback ultimately wasn’t enough for Basingstoke as their winning run was ended in Devon by Tiverton Town.
Basingstoke made a positive start and created the game’s first chance. Sam Deadfield’s pass picked out the run of Sam Smart who in turn deftly flicked the ball back to Michael Atkinson who drilled a first time shot narrowly wide. But despite enjoying the majority of possession, the visitors fell behind in the 18th minute thanks to Levi Landricombe. A long ball got Owen Howe running down the right hand side and his crossed was misjudged by Marcus Johnson-Schuster, allowing it to fall to Landricombe. After missing the ball with a left footed volley, it fell to him on his right foot and his shot from 15 yards deflected over Colm McAdden and dropped into the net.
The goal came against the run of play and just a couple of minutes later it was 2-0. Landricombe again was the goalscorer as he stepped up to powerfully curl a free kick into the top corner from the edge of the box. Basingstoke rallied and Shane Hollamby was denied, as was Jack McKnight while Sam Smart couldn’t turn home the rebound. Sam Deadfield was also unfortunate to see his curling effort from 25 yards hit the bar.
The hosts struck a killer blow just before the break. Central defender Ben Mammola was allowed to waltz through the Basingstoke half unchallenged before evading Hollamby and poking the ball past McAdden for a third Tiverton goal, making it 3-0 at half time.
HALF TIME: 3-0
Basingstoke came out determined to make amends in the second half and got the best possible start. After a period of possession from the restart, during which Tiverton didn’t get a touch of the ball, Smart was fed in behind by Dan Collier and he poked past Martin Rice to get his side on the scoresheet inside the first minute of the second half.
Basingstoke had the momentum and controlled the second period but Tiverton still threatened on the break. McAdden made good saves from Howe and Michael Landricombe while McKnight had a strong penalty appeal ignored after a pull on his shirt. Tim Wohlfiel shot wide from range and McKnight again had a chance to scramble the ball home, while Ollie Knowles was fortunate to stay on the pitch after lashing out at Deadfield.
As the game approached its ending it became more open and stretched as Basingstoke pressed to get back into the match. A superb covering tackle from Dan Bayliss stopped a dangerous looking breakaway while McAdden did superbly well to hold up substitute Jordan Rogers and force his shot onto the bar. Deep into stoppage time, Charlie Kennedy burst forward from midfield and fired an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner to pull it back to 3-2. There was no time left however and Tiverton celebrated going top of the league.
FULL TIME: 3-2
Basingstoke team: Colm McAdden; Marcus Johnson-Schuster, Shane Hollamby, Dan Bayliss, Tim Wohlfiel; Dan Collier, Charlie Kennedy, Michael Atkinson (George Bennett), Sam Deadfield, Jack McKnight (Kieran Rodgers); Sam Smart. Subs not used: Aaron Holt, Will Shaw, Charlie McCann.
Tiverton team: Martin Rice; Nick Hurst (Scott Rogers), Ben Mammola, Jamie Price, Tom Gardner, Callum Hall; Ollie Knowles, Michael Landricombe, Jamie Short; Levi Landricombe (Tom Bath), Owen Howe (Jordan Rogers). Subs not used: Liam Gregory, Harry Horton.