Basingstoke Town 10-0 Stockbridge
Match report by Nick Wilson
Brad Wilson scored a double hattrick as Basingstoke strolled past an overmatched Stockbridge side in the North Hants Senior Cup semi-final on Tuesday night at Winklebury, rattling in ten goals without reply on a night in which Dan Brownlie heavily rotated his squad.
Three tiers separate Basingstoke and Stockbridge – a town with a population lower than ‘Stoke’s last league attendance – in the pyramid and the gulf in class showed, despite a home squad featuring academy players, fringe first teamers and others on the return from injury and suspension.
Stockbridge held out for ten minutes but as Wollers slid in to finish Jack French’s floated cross while left all alone, the floodgates opened.
Wilson turned a defender on the edge of the box and sent a skidding effort into the bottom corner three minutes later before turning provider with a chipped ball in behind, freeing Reid to slot home midway through the first period and then tapping in to make it 4-0, 90 seconds later after Palmer unselfishly squared across the box.
The Winklebury crowd had to wait seven further minutes for Wilson to complete his hat-trick, seizing upon a loose pass to curl in a wonderful left footed strike from 20 yards and with five minutes to go until the break he made it 6-0 with a deft left footed touch inside the box allowing him to blast home from close range.
The referee’s assistant disallowed a deliciously dinked finish from French just before half-time for offside but 40 seconds into the second half, Palmer jinked infield and belted an unstoppable finish across the Stockbridge keeper from the left.
Wilson was soon denied by the goalie when clean through, but Palmer added Basingstoke’s eighth on 52 minutes as he left Anton Rodgers’ pass run beyond the visiting stopper to slot into the unguarded net.
Wilson eventually rounded off the scoring, flicking home Rodgers’ corner before intercepting a pass and drilling home from the edge of the box to take Basingstoke into double figures while Stockbridge’s goalkeeper produced an excellent fingertip save to prevent the Basingstoke forward taking his personal tally to seven for the night late on.
Basingstoke Town will take on the winners of Andover New Street and Alresford Town in the final – date and venue TBC.