Thatcham 2-3 ‘Stoke

Basingstoke came away with maximum points with two games in 48 hours across the Bank Holiday weekend with a well-earned and hard fought 2-3 win away at Thatcham Town FC.

Four changes were made from Saturday’s winning team as Paul Strudley, Adam Everiss, Aidan Lewis and Lloyd Snell all made starts.

In a frantic start to the game it was Thatcham who had the ball in the net early as Brad Pagliaroli finished from close range but was soon chalked off having been flagged for offside. At the other end Thatcham debutant Carl Jenner nearly had the ball in the back of his own net, but his sliced clearance trickled past the Thatcham post.

On 13 minutes, Conor Lynch facing his old club broke free down the left hand side after some neat build up play and squared the ball to Brad Wilson who finished well from close range.

Seven minutes later, a defensive error down our left hand side allowed a cross to be finished at the back post where Ceesay finished into the corner of the net as Thatcham drew level.

Basingstoke remained patient and it was Lloyd Snell whose fantastic curled effort flew into the corner of the net from just outside the box. A beautiful finish by our young academy player who earned his first start of the season following his fine sub appearance 48 hours previously. Basingstoke continued to probe and they got their rewards after a deep cross to the back post found the head of towering centre half Shaun Dallimore who finished expertly into the bottom corner.

Half Time 1-3

Basingstoke certainly started the brighter of the two teams and had a number of efforts that didn’t trouble ex-‘Stoke keeper Chris Rackley. Then, on 57 minutes Thatcham were awarded a penalty but Paul Strudley made a brilliant save diving to his left hand side keeping¬†Pagliaroli’s fiercely struck effort out. Just ten minutes later Thatcham were awarded another penalty, despite protests that were waived away and again Strudley made a terrific save but was unable to stop the follow up and Harvey Harry finished.

Academy player Kial Mumford was brought on for the last 20 minutes to help shore up the midfield and Basingstoke dug in to hold out for the result despite a barrage of Thatcham pressure which included experienced defender Gunn being used as a striker and Rackley coming up for a corner in the final moments.

A well earned win that sees Basingstoke remain unbeaten in three league games.

Dan Brownlie commented:

“It was a great win whilst it not being a particularly good performance. Bank Holiday Monday is rarely a classic in terms of quality, sometimes it’s more about showing a level of willingness and guts and that was out there in abundance today. They all dug in and we got our rewards. We were a little disappointed with areas of our play, but sometimes you just have to stick a tin hat on, dig a trench and grind out a result and we did that today. There were some tired legs and understandably so – the boys have been worked hard this weekend but the efforts have been more than worth it.”

“We’ve got the FA Cup this weekend now, and we’re really looking forward to it. This week is going to be about recovery and hoping that we can get a few of our injuries that little bit closer to being ready.”