Basingstoke Town 3-2 Sholing

Scorers : Conor Lynch 25, George Reid 77 & 84  /  Dan Mason 26, Dan Miller 34

Date: Tuesday 27 July 2021, 7:45pm – Pre-Season Friendly

Venue:  Hampshire FA Winklebury Complex

Sholing: Luke Deacon, Ryan Cluett, Marv McLean, Byron Mason [c], Dan Miller, Robin Nicholls, Charlie Wagstaffe, Jake Cope, Stu Green, Brad Targett, Dan Mason.  Subs used : Nathan Gray, Rafa Ramos, Joe Adams, Jo Smith, Martin Buckland, Conor Whiteley, Claudio Herbert, Mitch Byrne

Attendance: Approx 150

Referee : Tom Ellsmore  Assistants : Adam Merchant & Nic Hucker

A defeat against a strong looking Basingstoke side, but that doesn't tell the whole story of a very entertaining pre-season friendly.  Boatmen came from behind to dominate an action packed, high tempo first half and lead into the break.  With nearly the entire Sholing line-up changed during the second half, the home side grabbed two quality late goals to edge the game.

For the first time this pre-season, Dave Diaper had a full squad to select from.  The only player missing out was Ryan Gosney, with the 3G surface one of the considerations for someone who is recovering from knee surgery.  Diapes gave a start to trialist Jake Cope, who scored at Blackfield at the weekend.

Game took place at Hampshire FA's HQ at Winklebury, which has been modified with some new stands behind each goal & a fresh 3G surface to allow Basingstoke to play in their home town for the foreseeable future.  The club still holds out hope of returning one day to the Camrose Stadium, although it seems a very complicated situation that may drag on for some time.  First shot came via Jake Cope cutting in from the left, but his speculative shot was always curling wide.  It was an end-to-end start, but Basingstoke started to dominate and on 18 minutes, Luke Deacon was called into making the first of three good saves in quick succession as he did well to get down & hold a well struck shot.   Luke's second stop was from a fierce left sided shot that he beat away and he was in action again from the subsequent corner.

So, on 25 minutes, was little surprise when Basingstoke took the lead, with a sweeping move down their left wing saw new signing & former Thatcham captain, Conor Lynch set up to find the net from the middle of the area.   However, straight from the restart, the Boatmen equalised!  Byron's long pass into the left channel caused hesitation between the right back & keeper, with the ball bouncing off one of them, straight to DAN MASON 20 yards out to carefully drill the ball low into the unguarded net.

It was now Sholing's turn to dominate and create some good chances.  Brad Targett flicked a header into the path of Stu Green, who pulled his shot just wide.  Then Charlie Wagstaffe showed good strength in the middle of the park to win the ball and then vision to put Dan Mason in on the left, but D-Dan's angled shot was well saved.  Dan went close again on 32 mins, with Byron crossing into the box for his brother to nod narrowly wide.  Sholing made their pressure pay on 34 minutes. A freekick to the right of the penalty area was swung perfectly into the box where it was met with a thumping header into the top corner by DAN MILLER, breaking his 2 year scoring duck.   Sholing continued to knock the ball around at pace and Stu Green was put clean through, but as he was bearing in on goal, the ball flicked off his toe and on this surface, that saw it run away from him.   HT 1-2

The restart saw a couple of changes by the home side and Diapes did likewise, bringing on Joe Adams & Conor Whiteley.  He was forced into more changes due to knocks to Wagstaffe, Cluett & Green, but it was always the intention to give everyone a run out.  The second half was a slower tempo to the first as both sides adjusted to the changes.  Joe Adams once again looked composed on the ball, pinging some nice passes out to the wing.  

Brad Targett was freed down the right channel on 62 mins and he fired across goal, beating the keeper, but also the far upright with Sholing players arriving too late to knock the ball in.    Some trickery by Conor Whiteley on 74 minutes saw him win a freekick inside the D. His 20 yard effort beat the wall and fizzed inches wide of the post.   Basingstoke had looked better the longer the half went on and they drew level on 78 minutes when a defence splitting pass by Wilson set George Reid clear to place a measured finish past Deacon.  

Boatmen should have immediately retaken the lead when Brad Targett raced clean through, but with perhaps too much time to think what to do, he went for power and blazed wide.   Luke Deacon was called into another full length dive to deny Basingstoke, but on 84 mins he could do nothing to stop George Reid grabbing the winner, finishing off another quick attack by the home side with a thumping shot.   Basingtoke then thumped the upright with a long range effort as the ref brought the entertaining game to an end.  One that overall, Sholing looked good for long periods and as ever with pre-season, it's the time to get minutes in the legs and try a few things. FT 3-2. Finally, we can look forward to a home game in front of our fans this Friday (it's been 280 days since the last one!)

Can imagine Basingstoke doing well in their new league this season, thanks to them for hosting.

Next Game :  Sholing v United Services Portsmouth - Friday 7:15pm

Photos courtesy of HR Media (swipe to view pics)