BY NICK WILSON
Basingstoke were sent tumbling out of the Southern League Challenge Cup by fellow Southern League Premier side Hayes & Yeading, thanks to a hat trick from striker Mitchell Weiss. Weiss scored just before and after half time, goals which seemed to knock the stuffing out of Basingstoke after a good first period.
Basingstoke started quickly, Nana Owusu sending a cross through the penalty area inside the first minute as the visitors looked to use their width and control possession. The visitors created plenty of chances and forced the home keeper Danny Boness into several good saves. Joe Gater twice went close in the first half, first heading just wide at the far post before volley just over the bar. Aaron Jarvis was a threat running the channels and stretching the back four and drew a good save from Boness at his near post with a strong left footed strike while Aaron Redford’s low shot on the turn was also parried behind by the Hayes &Yeading goalkeeper. Mark Hastings was also unfortunate not to score for the first time for Basingstoke as his header was kept out.
At the other end Kieron Greene, standing in for Alex Tokarczyk, made a good save after Weiss shot from a tight angle. But just a few minutes before half time Weiss did beat Greene. A good run took him past two Basingstoke defenders before a powerful strike on the left foot found the net at the near post to give Hayes & Yeading a half time lead against the run of play.
HALF TIME: 1-0
Sam Deadfield was given a great chance to equalise immediately after the break as he ran clean through but a heavy touch allowed Callum Adebiyi in to put the ball behind. Basingstoke were made to pay soon after as Weiss got his second. Turning on a bouncing ball he swung his left foot and lifted a volley over Greene’s outstretched hand and into the top corner from 20 yards.
At 2-0 down Basingstoke struggled to keep possession and create chances as they had in the first half. Ashleigh Artwell and Dan Collier both made their returns from injury in an attempt to get the visitors back into the game. Artwell showed some threat out wide and almost got on the end of another Owusu cross at the far post and Gater headed over the bar again.
With just under 20 minutes to play though, Weiss completed his hat trick and killed the game off. A long range strike was saved by Greene but Weiss followed it in for an easy finish.
Basingstoke had one last chance but Artwell’s cross just evaded Deadfield as Basingstoke slipped to a 3-0 defeat.