BY NICK WILSON
Basingstoke turned on the style in an impressive performance to come from a goal down and blitz Dunstable with five second half goals for their biggest win of the season.
Continuing the recent trend though, Basingstoke started badly and were behind inside five minutes. Joshua Oyinsan profiting from a bouncing, getting there ahead of David Ray and Joe Gater before squeezing the ball between Alex Tokarczyk’s legs. To their credit, Basingstoke reacted and thought they had an immediate equaliser. Aaron Redford, lurking in behind the defence was in the right position to poke home a scuffed shot but the assistant’s flag was raised.
Dunstable threatened through winger Nathan Olukanmi down the right hand side but Basingstoke were able to create plenty of chances too, only for their finishing to let them down.
Nana Owusu used his pace to get free and his blistering drive from the left side of the box rose just over the corner of the woodwork. Ten minutes later it was Ashleigh Artwell’s turn, from a similar position, to blaze wide on his weaker foot. Ray glanced a header over following a free kick from George Bennett and Terence van Cooten, starting for the first time for Basingstoke, lashed a shot high over the crossbar after one of many attacking runs from the right back position.
HALF TIME: 0-1
Basingstoke found their shooting boots after the break and took full advantage. After moving back to the centre of the back four in a half time switch, Matt Partridge won the hosts a penalty as his header was blocked by a Dunstable arm. He stepped up to take it himself, coolly converting while sending Dunstable keeper Jack Smith the wrong way and pulling his team level.
The goal opened the floodgates and two minutes later, Artwell continued his recent run of goals. The ball found it’s way to the right hand side of the box and the winger just beat the onrushing Smith the ball, placing it into the net and completing the swift turnaround. From then Basingstoke dominated the game, Dunstable showing very little threat.
Basingstoke looked to take advantage of a nervy looking Jack Smith. The goalkeeper fumbled one effort but was fortunate that neither Charlie Kennedy nor Partridge could force the ball over the line, before he just about managed to gather up a deflected shot from Artwell. Halfway through the second half, Sam Deadfield was next to go close for Basingstoke as he cut onto his left foot before firing a shot agains thte foot of the near post and out for a goal kick.
The third goal had been coming and it arrived with twenty minutes to play. Aaron Redford made a good run and was found by Michael Atkinson who continued his own run into the box. Redford returned the ball with an excellent pass and Atkinson took one touch before confidently sliding home his first goal for the club.
At 3-1 up there was time for Tobi Adekunle to enter the fray for his debut, replacing Redford up front for the final fifteen minutes. It was Artwell who stole the show late on though. After looking unplayable for the first eighty minutes, he had time to contribute to two more Basingstoke goals late on. Firstly, another tricky run forced the second Basingstoke penalty of the match, powered home by Nana Owusu for his ninth goal of the season after Matt Partridge departed with a hamstring injury. Then finally, with just four minutes left, he seized upon a loose pass back to Smith, cutting it out before the goalkeeper could get to it and keeping the ball in play on the byline before jinking past the desperate keeper a second time and dispatching the ball into the empty net for his fourth goal in three games and Basingstoke’s fifth of the night.
FULL TIME: 5-1