Dragons slain by dominant Blues – pics added
A goal in each half saw Blues deservedly take the Evo-Stik South Premier points, on Saturday.
Stortford’s performance was their best on home soil so far this campaign and they were well worth the three points with a strong showing from virtually start to finish against their Hampshire opponents.
From the first whistle the Blues seemed to have more of a physical presence on the field than the match four days earlier against Chesham United. Sam Hatton, George Casey and Joe Robinson, in particular, had fine matches for the hosts.
Kevin Watson was able to welcome back Marvel Ekpiteta and Tyler McCarthy back to the squad so that the defence had a more familiar look about it.
In the sixth minute McCarthy had to be alert to deal with an awkward cross from the left by Ashleigh Artwell and three minutes later Stortford had their first chance to get ahead when Freddy Moncur set up Dipo Akinyemi but the striker’s right foot effort was off target when he could have used his left foot. The visitors’ Sam Argent struck the base of the far post with an acute angled effort in the 14th minute after Charlie Kennedy had found the number nine in space on the right.
Darren Foxley twice was close for the Blues firstly having a shot held by keeper Colm McAdden and then another effort skimming the bar following a Sam Hatton free-kick. The hosts went ahead in the 24th minute. Good work by Tyrique Hyde on the right was instrumental in Sam Hatton having a shot pushed out by keeper Colm McAdden and Freddy Moncur netted the loose ball from close range.
Akinyemi was denied by the keeper with McAdden keeping out an acute angled shot with his leg ten minutes before break. But then, at the other end, McCarthy made an excellent save to stop an equaliser in the 43rd minute somehow turning aside a close ranger header by Ben Wright for a corner after George Bennett had crossed in from the left wing.
In added time a Foxley back post header from a Tyrique Hyde cross wasn’t far off target.
Stortford suffered a blow early six minutes after the restart with Mark Hughes being replaced after suffering a knee injury following a fine block tackle in midfield. However, the loss of the skipper didn’t seem to effect the workmanlike display of the side although a header by Stoke’s Sam Smart in the 57th minute was only just over the target. Stortford gained their breathing space with a second goal in the 67th minute. Two defenders misjudged a long ball downfield from George Casey that left Akinyrmi clear on goal to slot past McAdden.
The goalscorer almost added another goal seconds after the restart but McAdden recovered just in time.
As the contest entered the last ten minutes, the Dragon’s Dan Collier struck a shot close past McCarthy’s goal from 18 yards and shortly afterwards Blues’ substitute Ryan Richefond also fired wide from the edge of the box.
Four minutes from the end of normal time Darren Foxley was unlucky not to get himself on the scoresheet as he rounded great approach work with a rising shot that grazed the angle of the near post and bar. The victory could have been more emphatic but Akinyemi shot wide of an open goal from anacute angle shortly afterwards.
The only caution of the match was in the final minute when Basingstoke Town skipper Marcus Johnson-Schuster was shown a yellow card for kicking the ball away.
STORTFORD: Tyler McCarthy; George Casey; Aaron Tumwa; Mark Hughes (Jordan Westcott 51); Marvel Ekpiteta; Joe Robinson; Tyrique Hyde (Ryan Richefond 73); Sam Hatton; Dipo Akinyemi; Freddy Moncur; Darren Foxley.
Unused substitutes: Alex Rogers and Jack Thomas.
BASINGSTOKE TOWN: Colm McAdden; Marcus Johnson-Schuster; George Bennett; Dan Collier; Shane Hollamby (Guri Demuria 69); Dan Bayliss; Sam Smart; Charlie Kennedy; Sam Argent; Ben Wright (Michael Atkinson 46); Ashleigh Artwell (Callum Bunting 46).
Unused substitutes: Jack McKnight and Tim Wohlfiel
Referee: Carl Pearse