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MAGPIES: Defensive errors cost Magpies dearly
MAGPIES 0 BASINGSTOKE 4
THE Magpies were brought back down to earth with a bump as they failed to build on their win at Maidenhead a week earlier and went back to the bottom of the Skrill South table.
Defensive weaknesses showed all too often and Basingstoke raced into a 3-0 lead at half-time before going on to add a fourth with 15 minutes left.
Three minutes in Andrew Jenkinson chased a ball down the left, his crossed evaded Ashley Vickers and Jake Smeeton and Shaun McAuley took advantage to lash a shot past Alan Walker-Harris, pictured above.
Manny Williams then found Matt Partridge in oceans of room though thankfully for the hosts Calvin Brooks got back to make a timely block tackle.
At this stage it was all Basingstoke and a long ball over top nearly led to embarrassment for Walker-Harris when he had to come out of his area to head clear, leaving his goal exposed.
Dorchester weren’t punished on that occasion and they slowly came into the game and had a great first chance.
After a couple of corners Nick Crittenden swung a cross to the far post, Brandon Goodship controlled the ball instantly and guided a shot past the upright.
Basingstoke were having a lot of success with the direct approach and had the referee not penalised him for a foul on Vickers, Williams could well have made it 2-0.
The home side had their best opportunity of the half on 16 minutes when skipper Mark Jermyn received Jake Rowley’s lay off and cracked a low drive that struck the base of the post.
Then it was McAuley’s turn to be denied a second and it was another long ball that caused all the problems. Crittenden tried and failed to play offside but he was saved by Walker-Harris who made a good save at close range.
Half an hour in Brooks was replaced by Steve Walker before Adam Green and Partridge picked up cautions within three minutes of each other for fouls on Josh Wakefield and Neil Martin.
Then Williams hit the back of the net twice two minutes to rock Dorchester and effectively seal the three points.
The first was somewhat fortunate as Wes Daly’s free-kick took a huge deflection off Crittenden and fell to Williams who side-footed home, then the striker produced a superb finish from just inside the Magpies’ box to make it 3-0.
A third Basingstoke booking, this one for Nathan Smart, followed on the stroke of half-time.
The home fans thought their side had pulled a goal back six minute into the second period. A Vickers cross from the left was turned in by Crittenden via a deflection but the referee had blown for a foul in the build up.
Partridge came close to getting his name on the scoresheet moments later, exploiting Vickers’s lack of pace before firing just over.
It was abundantly clear that Basingstoke were not settling for three and McAuley earned a corner after knocking the ball through the legs of Vickers and forcing Walker-Harris to push the ball behind.
Nothing seemed to be going right for the Magpies and Jermyn found his way into the referee’s notebook with 20 minutes left.
And it got worse minutes later, with the two men who had come on for the visitors, Simon Dunn and Neil Barrett, combining.
Dunn beat Jermyn to the ball near halfway, sprinted clear down the left and swung a delightful pass over to Barrett and he did the rest with a crisp, low drive.
The county town side really knew it wasn’t their day when Crittenden played in Goodship and his effort struck the far post. Neither Martin nor Jamie Gleeson could do anything with the rebound.
A smart save by Walker-Harris stopped Robbie Matthews adding a fifth and with five minutes left Dan Munday was brought on by Phil Simkin for his full home debut.
It could well have been something of a cricket score had it not been for Walker-Harris. Just before the end of normal time he tipped Barrett’s shot onto the bar.
Magpies: Walker-Harris, Crittenden, Smeeton, Jermyn, Vickers, Brooks (Walker 31), Wakefield, Gleeson, Goodship, Rowley (Munday 84), Martin. Subs not used: Twyford, Rolls, Beasley
Basingstoke: Wells, Smart, Green, Partridge, (Barrett), Gasson, Ray, Daly, McAuley, Matthews, Williams (Ibe 84), Jenkinson (Dunn 64). Subs not used: Campbell, Debattista
Yellow cards: Magpies – Jermyn (foul, 71)
Basingstoke – Green (foul, 32), Partridge (foul, 35), Smart (foul, 43)
Referee: Lee Vennamore (East Barming)
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