Boro’ bow out of Hampshire Senior Cup at the Camrose

Boro’s brief flirtation with this Season’s Hampshire Senior Cup ended at the first hurdle.

Basingstoke fielded a full strength side in which every member of their starting line-up had featured in the draw with Wealdstone last Saturday.

By contrast, the Boro’ side was without the Cheltenham Town duo of Dale and Williams, saw Timi Abiola return from the injury sustained in the opening game against Lewes and included Dean Joseph-Whittingham, L’Heureux Menga and Nathan Chambers in their starting eleven.

Tom Broadbent wore the captain’s armband with CJ Fearn being rested though among the subs.

Tom Broadbent did well to stop Enver-Marum after just two minutes play, but when Boro’ lost possession on the left of midfield the ball was worked through to Harrison Gilkes who opened the scoring for the home after 6 minutes. Basingstoke Town 1-0 Farnborough.

Boro’ then had a spell of more dominant play during which they forced two corners in quick succession. The first having resulted from a good save by Howe.

When Soares made a good run down the right and cut into the box Cole seemed to slide the ball out for a corner, but when Soares fell over the full backs outstretched leg, Referee Gary Parsons pointed to the spot.

Lloyd Macklin despatched the penalty to double Stoke’s lead on 14 minutes. Basingstoke Town 2-0 Farnborough.

At least no-one was sent off.

A good move by Boro’ saw Fraser’s cross headed out for a corner and a couiple of minutes later when Chambers cleverly stepped over the ball L’Heureux Menga was clear and his shot, though on target, lacked real power and Howe saved.

When Ben-Elmhanni failed to reach a pass from Collins in midfield, the home side went all the way to the by line where Victor’s timely challenge saw the ball run out for a goal kick.

Soares and Macklin combined well and won a corner which was cleared, but a minute later the Boro’ keeper was alert to a break by the speedy Macklin and ran a full 20 yards out of his area to clear the danger.

The home side were clearly dominating play at this stage and the final action of the half saw Macklin’s snapshot sail well over the bar.

HALF TIME: Basingstoke Town 2-0 Farnborough

While Boro’ improved as the half went on they were often a yard slower than the well organised home side. Once again, they were on the wrong end of a penalty decision which helped give the Stoke a two goal cushion at an early stage.

The second half got away at 8:42pm with Boro’ having replaced Abiola, who had played reasonably well considering his lack of match play, being replaced by Shaun Sims.

There was just time for Bradley Fraser to have a crack at goal which was wide of the target, before the home side made a change. Liam Enver-Marum making way for David Ray on 47 minutes.

A good move by Boro’ down the right saw a low cross from Fraser met by Ben-Elmhanni but his shot was blocked by the home defence and cleared.

Shortly after, Callum Webb replaced Benel-Mhanni on 56 minutes.

When Boro’ were awarded a free kick near the halfway line Tom Broadbent’s kick eluded everyone and went through to Howe.

Boro’ had a ten minute spell when they were on top, but apart from a long distance shot from Fraser, which caused Howe no real trouble,

Basingstoke made a further change when Gilkes was replaced by Manny Williams on 70 minutes.

Whether the change broke Boro’s momentum or concentration, who can say, but in less than a minute a neat move ended with Louie Soares increasing his side’s lead still further albeit at that time against the run of play on 71 minutes. Basingstoke Town 3-0 Farnborough.

The next ten minutes was a case of one way traffic. After Boro’ were denied a corner when Mr Parsons overruled his assistant the home side redoubled their efforts and Soares had an attempt go wide before a free kick on the right struck the base of a post only for the rebound to be blasted over.

Stoke made their final change replacing Soares with Chris Flood on 77 minutes.

Williams hit a post and the rebound was cleared, but the respite was only temporary and Macklin almost bagged his second of the night but close attention from Chinua Cole saw him shoot over the bar.

Boro’ pushed on for the remaining time and Callum Webb who looked more assured than on Saturday and was getting forward a lot more, did well to create space for a shot which was charged down by the defence and when he burst forward again his shot from a tight angle found the side netting.

The youngster kept trying and had another shot blocked before Lewis Collins was only a fraction too high with another effort.

Boro’ had a left side corner which was safely claimed by Howe and proved to be the last of the action as Mr Parsons blew for time having added very little time beyond the ninety minutes.

FULL TIME: Basingstoke Town 3-0 Farnborough

So, another defeat for Boro’s young side, but some positive individual performances.

The home side were clearly used to playing together, were disciplined and better organised and in truth, but for the woodwork and some good interventions by the keeper and other defenders, the gap could well have been much wider.

There is still a long way to go to April.

Match Report by Tony Duff.

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