BY NICK WILSON
Basingstoke tasted defeat against promotion chasing Slough despite a second half fightback in a game marred by a serious injury to home goalkeeper Mark Scott.
Basingstoke once again fell behind early on when former striker Chris Flood was left free at the far post to power a well taken volley into the roof of the net following a corner from James Dobson. Corners were a consistent threat for Slough as Dobson’s far post deliveries weren’t dealt with throughout the first half. Basingstoke threatened in return with possession in the Slough half without really challenging Scott outside of a Dan Collier strike from range.
Just after the fifteen minute mark though the game changed as Nana Owusu and Scott collided in attempting to reach a loose ball. The game was delayed for almost forty minutes as Scott was treated before eventually being take away to hospital and the game was restarted with midfielder Gurkan Gokmen in goal. It didn’t take long for Slough to double their lead, once again through Flood. A ball in the box found another ex-Basingstoke striker in Manny Williams and he kept calm to square to Flood who finished low past Tokarczyk. You could see what it meant to the home team as every outfield player joined the celebrations.
Sam Deadfield had two chances to get his team back into the game but volleyed over when well placed inside the box before dragging a long shot wide of the post.
HALF TIME: 2-0
Early in the second half Williams was unfortunate not to extend the home side’s lead. Firstly he saw a shot come back off the post before David Ray got back to make a goalline clearance to keep the score down to 2-0 but Basingstoke were soon back in it.
Owusu lined up a free kick and when it was fumbled by Gokmen, substitute Aaron Redford was first to it to cut the deficit in half with a simple tap in. Chances continued to fall for Slough though as Simon Dunn was denied by Tokarczyk. Charlie Kennedy and Marcus Johnson-Schuster both tried their luck from range but neither were able to test the stand in keeper as their shots flew off target.
With fifteen minutes left it seemed Slough had killed the game as James Dobson join Flood on the score sheet. Fed the ball just inside of the box, to the right of goal, he looked up and neatly placed a left footed shot wide of Tokarczyk and just inside the post to restore the two goal cushion.
Just five minutes later though, Redford scored again. A long ball from right to left evaded Smart and found the former Fulham striker who curled a shot over Gokmen from the edge of the box to drag Basingstoke back in it once again. George Bennett was called upon to make a crucial block inside the box late on to keep Basingstoke in with a chance but time ran out and the match ended 3-2.