BY NICK WILSON
Basingstoke suffered a frustrating defeat at home to St Ives Town, falling to two first half goals from the Cambridgeshire side.
It was the reverse of the victory over Merthyr on Tuesday as Basingstoke this time found themselves behind to an early goal. Jack Higgs’ sent a corner in low that found it’s way through the six yard box to Dubi Ogbonna who managed to bundle it home from close range.
An early deficit was not an unfamiliar situation for Basingstoke this season and they started to dominate possession of the ball but found it difficult to break down a well organised St Ives defence from open play. Set pieces carried a threat for Basingstoke, Sam Deadfield whipped a corner in that Romone Rose glanced wide and the former’s free kick was headed towards goal by David Ray, only for the ball to deflect away off Rose.
At the other end St Ives looked to counter and Alex Tokarczyk was forced into a smart save at his near post but the visitors soon doubled their lead. A string of neat passes released Tom McGowan on the right side of the area and his low ball was turned in by Danny Kelly for 2-0.
It looked a long way back for Basingstoke but they pressed on. Nana Owusu ended a dangerous run with a blocked shot inside the area and Aaron Redford twice shot wide.
HALF TIME: 2-0
Basingstoke came out in the second half looking to get back into the game and once again dominated possession while struggled to break down the away team’s defence while St Ives looked threatening on the counter attack.
Basingstoke’s biggest chance fell to half time substitute George Hallahan who blocked a long clearance. The ball fell loose to him 35 yards out with the visitors goalkeeper Tim Trebes sprinting outside his area towards the ball. Hallahan beat him to it but slotted his shot just wide of the empty net.
From then on the best chances fell to St Ives, Dubi Ogbonna was denied first by Tokarczyk and then Joe Gater on the line, before McGowan’s deft, chipped effort beat the Basingstoke keeper but bounced beyond the far post.
Basingstoke were left thanking the crossbar a couple of minutes later when a header from Harry O’Malley deflected away off the woodwork following a free kick from Ben Seymour-Shove.
Basingstoke created a couple of chances late on, Sam Deadfield was denied by a block from Jordan Jarrold and Owusu saw a shot saved, but it wasn’t enough and St Ives headed home with points.
FULL TIME: 2-0
Basingstoke team: Tokarczyk; Johnson-Schuster, Gater, Ray, R Atkinson; Kennedy, Partridge; M Atkinson, Deadfield, Owusu; Rose. Subs: Greene, Hallahan, Redford, Whittingham, Bennett.
St Ives team: Trebes; O’Malley, Chaffey, McDevitt Jarrold; Penfold, Higgs, McGowan, Dawkin; Ogbonna, Kelly. Subs: Cunniff, Moyes, Seymour-Shove, Bradshaw, Coulson.