‘Stoke Out of FA Trophy
Basingstoke Town were left rueing several missed chances in the first half of their Buildbase FA Trophy game on Saturday, as they lost 2-1 to Moneyfields.
Town Captain Simon Dunn made his first start for ‘Stoke since the FA Cup victory over Bournemouth at the start of September, however his return was sadly cut short after just ten minutes due to injury.
There was little goalmouth action for the first twenty minutes, but in the 25th minute, the game came to life. ‘Stoke put together a swift attack and the ball came to Bradley Wilson on the 6-yard line. He turned neatly and pulled the ball back to Ben Cook, but his shot was too close to Moneyfields ‘keeper Hallet, who saved easily. Hallet then sprang a Moneyfields counter-attack. He released the ball quickly and Moneyfields broke away. The ball came to Briggs, who in turn played in Ridge, who let fly from the edge of the box, only to see his effort hit the bar. This near-scare did not put ‘Stoke off and they continued to press, looking for the opening goal.
The determination to score soon bore fruit as they broke the deadlock in the 34th minute. Lewis Hayden found Dylan Ive in good space who then played a lofted pass into the path of Wilson. The striker cushioned a lovely weighted header to Cook who poked it home for ‘Stoke to take a deserving lead.
Both sides had several half chances heading into the break, but nothing came of any of them and Town went into the break with the goal advantage.
‘Stoke started brightly, and James Smith saw his effort saved by Hallet in the Moneyfields goal. But the home side started to grow into the game, and they were soon level. Jake Raine found Kieran Roberts in the Town penalty area, who fired home from 8 yards. It could have been made even worse for ‘Stoke soon after the home side equalised. Roberts was involved again for Moneyfields as he whipped in a free-kick that was met by Hutchings, but ‘Stoke ‘keeper Julian Schwarzer was equal to it and saved well.
The game very quickly became end-to-end with both sides possessing plenty of attacking threat, ‘Stoke attempted to play a few crosses into the Moneyfields box, but with no aerial threat the crosses were dealt with easily by the Moneyfields defence and ’keeper . Then, with less than ten minutes to go, Moneyfields took the lead. ‘Stoke lost the ball in the home side’s half and they broke away towards the ‘Stoke goal with pace. The ball is fed to Bailey, who slides the ball through to Roberts. Roberts found himself one-on-one with the oncoming Schwarzer in the ‘Stoke goal and slotted it beyond him, for his second of the day and to take Moneyfields through to the next round of the FA Trophy.
All eyes now turn to their first proper home fixture in over a year, next Saturday against AFC Totton at the Winklebury Stadium. Basingstoke Town Manager Dan Brownlie on today’s defeat: “It’s a blow as it’s a competition I wanted to do well in. We came up against a strong, experienced and physical Moneyfields side but in truth, we should have been out of sight after 45 minutes. They came out of the blocks strongly and we failed to replicate all our good work of the first half. It’s a big week for us now, so we’ll get to work on the training pitch and look forward to a great occasion on Saturday.”
Written by Karl Hills for the Basingstoke Gazette