Basingstoke are in action for the second time in three days on Easter Monday with a return to Dorchester Town serving as the final away game of the 2016/17 season.
It will be the second trip to the Avenue Stadium this season after the FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round pitted the two teams together back in November. On that occasion Basingstoke came away with a 3-0 win thanks to a trademark free kick from Nana Owusu and second half goals from Aaron Redford and Sam Deadfield to set up a tie with Bath City. The scoreline didn’t tell the full story though as the home side had plenty of chances themselves to find the net. The reverse fixture in the league was played at the Ark Cancer Charity Stadium on the 2nd January, the first match of 2017 and resulted in a 1-1 draw. A first minute goal from Tom Blair was eventually cancelled out by Deadfield after plenty of Basingstoke pressure.
As of the start of the weekend, Dorchester are lying in 18th place in the league, 6 places and 11 points behind Basingstoke and with 3 games to play for most teams, find themselves almost clear of relegation with a 6 point gap. Saturday’s game could see their Southern League Premier status mathematically secured for another season.
Dorchester head into the weekend on a four match winless run with away defeats to St. Ives Town and Biggleswade Town rounding out March and draws at home against promotion hopefuls Hitchin Town and Kings Lynn Town to begin April. They will play relegation threatened Cambridge City on Saturday in a match that could either secure their survival or drag them right back into the mix at the bottom.
With two games in quick succession Basingstoke will be hoping everyone makes it through Saturday’s match unscathed, with only Mark Hastings due to miss that game.