BY NICK WILSON
Basingstoke progressed to the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy at Dorchester, despite riding their luck at times on the way to a 3-0 win.
Dorchester started strongly and Basingstoke struggled to keep possession with Ollie Bassett and new signing Franklyn Clarke causing problems on the Dorchester right. At the other end Basingstoke weren’t able to gain any momentum and and Aaron Redford cut a frustrated figure up front alongside Romone Rose. Basingstoke were forced into an early change after just 25 minutes when Charlie Kennedy limped off, giving way for Nana Owusu which sparked a tactical change for Basingstoke as they moved from a diamond midfield to a flat four in an attempt to curb the threat of Bassett.
Dorchester created several chances throughout the first half as Alex Tokarczyk was called upon to make an early save at point blank range from Tom Blair’s header before Lewis Morgan saw his effort rebound off the post. Basingstoke punished the hosts’ profligacy in front of goal with their first real chance of the game. Richie Whittingham won a free kick 25 yards out and Nana Owusu whipped it into the corner of the net, via a slight deflection off the wall, for his third goal of the season as Basingstoke took a fortunate lead into the half time break.
HALF TIME 0-1
Basingstoke came out stronger in the second half showing an improved performance and soon had the chance to double their lead. Aaron Redford showed great opportunism to get to a loose ball in the area ahead of Magpies keeper Shane Murphy who brought him down, leaving the referee no choice but to award a penalty. The former Fulham striker picked himself up and sent Murphy the wrong way, slamming the spot kick into the bottom right hand corner for 2-0 to Basingstoke.
Dorchester kept coming at Basingstoke though and Alex Tokarczyk was called up to make two good saves although both times was perhaps fortunate that Nathan Walker contrived to miss both rebounds from in front of goal. As the home side pressed forward, Basingstoke began to carry more and more threat on the break. Half time substitute Aaron Jarvis was dangerous, running in behind and causing problems for the Dorchester defence while Nana Owusu was a constant thorn in their side down the left, his pace and trickery opening them up. As the game ticked towards stoppage time Walker had another golden chance to pull one back but after being picked out at the far post by an excellent cross, placed a right footed volleyed wide of the post with just Tokarczyk to beat.
Sam Deadfield wrapped up the win for Basingstoke soon after as he scored his second goal in two games. Picking up a loose ball 25 yards out, he picked his spot and drove the ball just inside the near post, via the outstretched hand of Murphy.
FULL TIME 0-3
Basingstoke Team: Tokarczyk; Johnson-Schuster, Gater, Ray, R Atkinson; Kennedy (Owusu 26), Partridge, Deadfield, Whittingham (Jarvis 46); Rose (M Atkinson 64), Redford. Subs not used: Greene, Hallahan.
Dorchester Team: Murphy; Jermyn (Jerrard 59), Oldring, Dillon, Martin; Smeeton, Morgan (Mateus 59), Bassett (Lea 78), Clarke, Blair; Walker. Subs not used: Yates, Wood.