Basingstoke Town FC 1 – 0 Whitehawk FC
7th October 2014
A trip to Basingstoke Town and the first signs of winter. The pitch is good and is slick from the recent downpours.
Whitehawk field two debutants tonight: Craig Ross in goal replacing John Sullivan who has gone to play in America and Exodus Geohaghon a defender with experience at Championship (with Peterborough), Division One and Two level – he has also won the Conference title with Mansfield Town.
Basingstoke will go top tonight if they win and Whitehawk are keen to rediscover their earlier winning form before the unavailability of players took its toll on the squad – and the results.
Whitehawk start strongly and Danny Mills could have scored with his flicked header which he guided just wide. Then the home side got on top for about 20 minutes during which Craig Ross made a great save in a one-on-one situation with Liam Enver-Marum. Basingstoke took the lead on 15 minutes when Chris Flood headed down and home from a cross from the left.
On the half hour mark Whitehawk start to probe further up the pitch and created a number of chances, the best coming when, following a corner given when Ahmed Abdulla’s testing drive is pushed around the post by home keeper Stuart Moore … from that corner Danny Mills finds himself in space with his back to goal and spins and shoots – unfortunately the shot doesn’t find the target. Both Ahmed Abdulla and Sam Deering have good shots from distancethat need dealing with, and Lee Hills sends fierce drive just over after his run down the left wing. During this period of pressure, Addulla’s powerful long range shot is blocked and rebounds out – but to a defending player, had it gone almost anywhere else …
The second half is quite different with Whitehawk having almost all the play, but Basingstoke keep it very tight at the back. Sahr Kabba makes a strong run into the box and from a tightish angle smashes the ball against the near post. JP Kissock and Sam Deering both have their efforts saved and Basingstoke see it out.
Manager Steve King: “We are missing the heart of our team: Paul Lorraine, Tom Cadmore and Sergio Torres – for the last four games. But we have brought in Exodus to improve the defence and the return of Osei Sankofa has also made us much better in defence.”
“The performance was a great improvement on last Saturday.”
“Apart from the first 20 minutes, when they were better, we were the better side – we camped in their half in the 2nd half.”
“It’s narrow margins with the teams at the top … the difference is that we just haven’t been able to cope with the injuries.”
“I thought the fans were magnificent last night. I think that they appreciated that we were obviously giving everything we had.”