Basingstoke 1-2 Eastleigh

BASINGSTOKE TOWN v EASTLEIGH

SATURDAY 12th FEBRUARY 2011
Blue Square Bet South

Report by Ray Murphy

Eastleigh gained another valuable three points for their search of a place in the top five of the Division, taking the points from not one of the better games of the season and with the home side bemoaning their luck throughout.

Warren Goodhind was missing through a hamstring injury, which saw Danny Smith drop to full back and Pete Adeniyi come into the midfield thus being the side that had finished at Ebbsfleet United in midweek. Gareth Barfoot was declared fit to take a place on the bench. Basingstoke themselves were the subject of a heavy 0-4 midweek away defeat at Chelmsford City though they has scored an excellent victory at home to Dover Athletic the previous weekend.

Both sides struggled to cope with the conditions - the first chance fell to Matt Warner on four minutes courtesy of a free kick that went just wide. Jamie Slabber headed a Tony Taggart corner just over seven minutes later. There were very few openings. After a quarter of an hour Greg Draper slipped a ball in behind the Eastleigh defence allowing the pacy Delano Sam-Yorke a chance on goal but his first touch was poor and the chance ran away. At the opposite end two minutes later, Jason Matthews’ long clearance was collected by Tony Taggart but Simon Locke saved his shot.

Basingstoke were then dealt their first blow of the afternoon when striker Draper was led from the field with a head injury and was to take no further part in the game being replaced by David Pratt. Chances were still very hard to come by when Eastleigh took the lead in the twenty-eighth minute. Danny Smith’s cross was flicked on by Richard Graham, the ball arrivied at the feet of Jamie Slabber and with the Basingstoke defenders believing an offside flag would have been raised by assistant referee Shaun Scott, Slabber just continued to curl a shot past Locke into the net for his fourth goal in four games.

Basingstoke were further hampered on thirty-five minutes when following a corner their skipper Ross Adams was left laying on the floor, which led to the defender being stretchered off and to be replaced by Jibe Ogunbote. On the stroke of what was supposed to be the interval Sam-Yorke's cross was brought down by Ogunbote but his shot on the turn went over the bar.

With the game having been the subject of two lengthy stoppages owing to the injuries, there was an additional seven minutes to be played. In that seventh minute Eastleigh gained a second goal and again in controversial circumstances for the home side. Shaun McAuley's cross finally arrived at Anthony Riviere just inside the area. The midfielders shot squirmed away under the grasp of Locke and crept over the line despite the attempts of defender Robert Rice, the goal being signalled by assistant referee Scott but again to the disbelief of the Basingstoke defenders claiming that the ball did not fully cross the line.

The second period started with no better quality though Basingstoke were starting to have more of the ball. The home side reduced the arrears on the hour, Warner’s left foot low drive down past the diving Matthews and just inside the post. There was a spell of increased pressure from the home side but Matthews was rarely troubled. On sixty-five minutes Callum Reynolds headed a Warner free kick just wide.

On seventy-four minutes, Warner's low ball across the area to the far post saw Nathan Smart fire high over. On seventy-eight minutes Reynolds fired a long range shot over the bar, four minutes later another Warner cross fell invitingly for Pratt but again he could not find the target.

After eighty-four minutes Smart was unmarked in the area but his shot was saved by Matthews. As time was running out Warner cut in from the wing but Matthews was again equal to his attempt. The best chances fell for Eastleigh towards the end of the game; Taggart with a mazy run at the Basingstoke defence saw his final shot pushed away by Locke. Substitute Justin Bennett then got behind the Basingstoke defence and with Locke arriving at the strikers feet, the striker tumbled looking round in the direction of referee Mr John O’Brien in the hope of a penalty award only to be the subject of a caution for simulation.

The game finally drifted to an end and a grateful three points for the side.

FULL TIME: Basingstoke Town 1-2 Eastleigh

Basingstoke - 120211 

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