Town suffer last minute heartache as they close off their home campaign for the season
The Blues concede 90th minute goal to the Stokes & fall to defeat at the MoodChimp Stadium
Match Report by Kevin Hand, match Stats by Rod Abrahams, Photographs by Granty
Stratford Town v Basingstoke, Saturday 21 April 2018 3.00pm Evo-Stik Southern Premier League at the MoodChimp Stadium.
Stratford 0 Basingstoke 1(0-0 HT)
Match sponsored by: Mrs. Margaret Bartlett
• Our revels now are ended…
This was a game that neither team deserved to win or lose in a dull end-of-season encounter between 2 mid-table teams. The fact that Basingstoke snatched a late winner shouldn’t cloud the fact that the teams were evenly matched. Both sets of players performed honestly and fairly and the game was well managed by referee, Simon Brown, and his assistants. It was a pity that a small section of visiting fans were in a such an uncivil and brawlish mood quite taking away the enjoyment of the last 45 minutes. They would not be missed if they did not return!
With Connor and Thomas suspended Scott Martin and Jazz Luckie started in an attacking formation as Town looked for just 3 points to beat their previous best in the EvoStik Southern Premier League. So, in the last game at the MoodChimp in the 2017/2018 campaign it was Town who were first to threaten when Stephens played in Luckie down the left hand side. Shooting on the run Luckie’s shot beat both goalkeeper, Colm McAdden, and the far post.
The game threatened to boil over on 13 minutes when Taylor made an ill advised challenge on McAdden and was booked. Demuria was also booked for his reaction. After a stern lecture both behaved impeccably hereafter. As the game unfolded although Basingstoke enjoyed greater possession Stratford always carried a threat going forward with both Grocott and Stephens testing the keeper.
We had to wait for just over 30 minutes for the first real excitement when Stephens swept through from a Marsden pass to lob the keeper. Excitement was short lived as the assistant referee decisively flagged for offside. Basingstoke’s best effort was on 41 minutes when George Bennett’s free kick from the left had to be scrambled away with a boot from Scott Martin.
At half time it was pleasing to reflect on the performance of young keeper Scott Martin, assured, confident and with excellent distribution. Charlie Evans was also delivering his most accomplished performance in a Town shirt.
After the break the pattern of the game saw Basingstoke edging possession but Town threatening on the break. Stephens twice had shots that were parried for corners but deadlock prevailed. After a slew of substitutions the game became scrappy and the football lost its fluency. On 90 minutes as we headed for added time the game changed as Evans was robbed just outside the area and substitute, Jack Martin, fired across the luckless Scott Martin with a shot just inside the post. There was a brief rally from Town but it was a relief when the referee blew his whistle.
The season for Stratford finishes next Saturday with a visit to Bishops Stortford. I would like to pay a personal tribute to Carl Adams and his management team for another year of competitive, attacking football at the MoodChimp. A credit to the town of Stratford!
Man of the Match: Scott Martin
• Our revels now are ended….. Prospero The Tempest Act 4 Scene 1
Match Stats by Rod Abrahams
| 8||Goal Attempts|| 9|
| 5||On Target|| 7|
| 0||Blocked Shots|| 0|
| 0||Hit Woodwork|| 0|
| 4||Corners Won|| 6|
| 6||Crosses into Box|| 8|
| 14||Fouls Conceded|| 13|
| 1||Off Side|| 0|
| 2||Yellow Cards|| 3|
| 0||Red Cards|| 0|
Stratford Yellow Cards – Summerfield & Taylor
Basingstoke Yellow Cards – Demuria, Long & McAdden