BY NICK WILSON
Basingstoke returned to the scene of their 3-0 League Cup defeat just over a month ago and dug in to claim a fourth win in their last five away games with a 3-2 victory over Hayes & Yeading United.
Basingstoke got the perfect start to the match with two goals in quick succession in the opening fifteen minutes. First it was Marcus Johnson-Schuster, bursting forward from right back to get on the end of a deft ball from Matt Partridge inside the box to fire in off the near post for just the second time this season. Within two minutes leading scorer Aaron Jarvis had made it 2-0 with his twelfth goal of the season as he raced in behind to latch on to Charlie Kennedy’s long ball and after holding of the attention of the home defence, slotted the ball across Danny Boness and into the bottom corner.
The two goal cushion lasted less than ten minutes though as Connor Toomey’s belter brought Hayes & Yeading back into it halfway through the first half. Forced wide on the left he unleashed a left footed volley which flew over Alex Tokarczyk and into the far side of the net.
Basingstoke went back on the attack to try and restore the two goal cushion. Sam Deadfield and Matt Partridge brought saves out of Boness, while the keeper just beat Deadfield in getting to the rebound.
The hosts equalised just before the break when the ball was worked out to the right hand side and Mitchell Weiss continued his fine form against Basingstoke by heading home from the cross at the far post.
HALF TIME: 2-2
Basingstoke were forced onto the back foot for much of the second half but defended well. After surviving a low cross which flashed through the six yard box, Basingstoke were then thankful for the crossbar as Toomey’s header crashed against it before Tokarczyk denied Tom Broadbent from the rebound.
Despite the early pressure from the home side, Basingstoke found a decisive third goal. A corner was half cleared and Joe Gater lofted it back across the goalmouth, only for the ball to slip through Boness’ hands and into the net to make it 3-2. Almost immediately Basingstoke could’ve made it four as Ashleigh Artwell was played through but his strike rolled just beyond the far post.
The hosts kept pressing but Basingstoke defended strongly, switching to play with three at the back and repelling ball after ball that came into the box. One ball was dropped by Tokarczyk and Weiss could only put the ball off target and Basingstoke held on for the win.