Basingstoke Town 1-2 Sholing

Scorers :  Liam Ferdinand 44 / Dan Mason 53, 66

Date: Saturday 2 December 2023, 3pm – Southern League Premier South

Venue: Hampshire FA Winklebury Complex   Attendance: 674

Basingstoke Town : Paul Strudley, Kai Hobbs, Marcus Johnson-Schuster, Scott Armsworth (George Reid 72), Nathan Smart, Alfie Grant (Will Upton 61), Brad Wilson, Michael Atkinson ©, Liam Ferdinand, D'Andre Brown (Simon Dunn 72), Paul Hodges.  Unused Subs : James Clark, Stefan Brown

Bookings : Scott Armsworth

Sholing : Ryan Gosney, Mathias Tepe (Charlie Wagstaffe 46), Brad Targett, George Milner-Smith, Dan Miller, Charlie Davis, Keane Anderson, Byron Mason ©, Dan Mason, Jake Hesketh (Luka Chalwell 46), Jake Cope (Rob Flooks 82).  Unused subs : Jake Flannigan, Marv McLean

Bookings : Brad Targett, Ryan Gosney, Keane Anderson, George Milner-Smith

Red Card : Brad Targett (2nd yellow)

Man of the Match : Dan Mason

Match Stats (home side first) : Possession : 55% / 45% - Shots on Target : 9 / 5 - Shots off Target : 13 / 6 - Final Third Entries : 42 / 20

Boatmen dug deep to come from behind to pick up a battling win at Basingstoke Town.  Dan Mason scored with two excellent finishes and despite being down to 10 men for the final 20, we defended well, rode our luck and came home with the 3 points.

Team News : Owen Roundell missed out through illness and Karlos Gregory was required by AFC Bournemouth. Marv & Flans were named on the bench, but were only going to be used in an emergency.

It was a bitterly cold day as the mist rolled in and out of the Winklebury complex and would then thicken up in the second half.  It was a cagey opening on the 3G pitch, but Sholing had a couple of chances on 8 minutes when firstly, Dan Mason's overhead was blocked away for a corner and from that, Dan Miller's header was tipped over the bar.

Jake Cope was played in behind, but under pressure he decided to shoot early and put the effort wide.  The home side had an effort kicked off the line by Charlie Davis and probably should have scored soon after. Ferdinand did the hard bit by twisting into the box, sitting down two Sholing players, but his final effort with the whole goal to aim at was saved by Gosney.

Dan Mason was next to break the offside trap, but the Basingstoke keeper was quick off his line to block the ball on the edge of his area.  Wilson fired just wide for 'stoke, before Jake Cope shot over for Sholing.  On 38 mins, Charlie Davis got off an angled shot that looked to be going inside the far post, but Strudley pulled off an incredible fingertip save to divert the ball behind.

It looked to be ending even at the break, but a Gosney pass was intercepted by Wilson who quickly fed Liam Ferdinand in space to knock the ball past Gos to give Basingstoke the lead.   HT 1-0

Dos made two changes for the restart, taking off Hesketh & Tepe and bringing on Wags & Luka.  The home side went close on 48 mins, an effort cleared off the line by Milner-Smith with the rebound well saved by Gosney.

On 53 minutes we were level. The Basingstoke keeper kicked the ball straight to DAN MASON on the right edge of the box, about 10 yards in and he coolly hit a first time side foot that rolled perfectly across the artificial surface and went in off the far post. What a finish!

Wilson hit the outside of the post for the home side, but on 66 mins, the Boatmen turned the game around and took the lead.  Luka Chalwell held the ball up, rode a challenge and set the ball to DAN MASON 20 yards from goal, who picked his spot and blasted home giving the keeper no chance.  It took D-Dan to double figures for the season and also within one goal of matching Lee Wort's goalscoring club record of 283.

Basingstoke were throwing all they had to get back in the game, but the defence was holding firm as the fog got thicker and to be honest, made it very hard for us down the other end to see what was going on in the Boatmen's box!  There were a couple of decent openings put wide by the home side and Gos also made a flying save.

Brad Targett, who had earlier got a harsh yellow from the ref for being on the receiving end of an elbow, then had a moment as he caught the ball in the Basingstoke box and received a second yellow to leave us down to 10 men for the 15 mins of normal time and 5 of added time (we played 6 and a half).

The home side were celebrating an equaliser, but took a while to notice the linesman's flag was up as the goal was ruled out.  Sholing were playing on the break and Luka cut in from the left flank and let go a shot that was saved at the near post.   The ball continued to ping around our foggy box in the final minutes of the game, but the lads put in a tremendous shift and held out for a big 3 points.  FT 1-2

Dos : "I was happier more with the result than our overall performance. We were a bit off in the first half with our passing being too sideways and backwards, but the first half was pretty even on clear cut chances created by both sides"

"We made the change at half time and I thought Luka & Wags made a real difference. The sending off made it a difficult last 20 minutes. Basingstoke were stretching us out wide and they are technically a very good team.  I have to give Basingstoke credit, I know they felt the same way we did when we came away from the Chesham game empty handed."

"It's a good set up at Basingstoke, although I'm not a fan of having multiple line markings on pitches used by teams at our level.  I understand the reasons and it being Hampshire FA's ground.  Everyone knows I'm a big fan of 3G pitches, but that's something that needs looking at going forward in the game"

"I honestly couldn't see much of the action in our box late in the game due to the fog, but I understand Gos made a great save and George Milner Smith a great clearance and all the lads worked their socks off for each other. D-Dan lead the line so well and his finishing has been top drawer in recent weeks.

"It's 3 points towards our target of 45 to ensure we stay in this league.   Every game we have to be at our best, because this is such a tough division with clubs at the bottom who can and will beat the clubs at the top."

"Many thanks to our supporters behind the goal and in the stand, it was a cracking result and we now look forward to two home league games on the trot."

Next Game : Sholing v Walton & Hersham - Tuesday 5 Dec 7:45pm - Southern Premier

Photos courtesy of EspieJaz, swipe to view