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 Basingstoke Town 2  Cambridge City 1
 Scott Fitzgerald (47, 59)
 
 Ashley Fuller (58)
 
Starting Line-Up
1  Jonty Venter
2  Ben Townsend
3  Rob Watkins
4  Jason Bristow
5  Sean Hankin
6  Steve Laidler
7  Ben Surey
8  Ben Wells
9  Scott Fitzgerald
10  Ben Wright
11  Matt Warner
Substitutes
12  James Taylor - 10 (72)
14  Dean Lodge
15  Tyron Smith
16  Carl Gibbs
17  Jamie Whisken - 5 (67)
Competition
Date
Saturday 25th Aug 2007
Bookings
None
Other Information
 Referee
Will Bull
Assistants
Robin Cox
Mark Treadwell
 Attendance
493
Starting Line-Up
1  Shane Herbert
2  Joe Bruce
3  Adam Everitt
4  Lee Chaffey
5  Glen Fuff (c)
6  Ben Bowditch
7  Steve Wales
8  Josh Simpson
9  Michael Gash
10  Lee Roache
11  Ashley Fuller
Substitutes
12  Neil Midgley - 2 (63)
14  Craig Radcliffe - 11 (87)
15  Mark E'Beyer - 7 (63)
16  Stuart Wall
17  Martin Davies


Home is definitely best for City at the moment. Whereas they’ve notched maximum points at Milton Road, they still remain pointless on their travels.

However, it could be argued that City deserved at least a draw following a very dubious decision by the referee to allow The Dragon’s opening goal to stand, just two minutes into the second half.

Shane Herbert is fouled

Steve Laidler delivered a hanging cross into the area. Shane Herbert came, only to be hit by a challenge from Jason Bristow, who clearly led with his arm and caught the City keeper under the chin causing the keeper to drop the ball. It fell to Scott Fitzgerald who saw his initial shot blocked by Glen Fuff, but made no mistake when the rebound fell back to him. City protested, but the referee just waved them away.

In hindsight, a goal for the home side was probably just reward for their first half showing, but the circumstances surrounding it left a bad taste in the mouth for City.

Having produced such fine football only a week earlier to defeat Havant, City never really showed up in the first period. After trading blows in the early minutes with a header from Rob Watkins and a dipping shot from Ben Bowditch, neither of which really troubled either keeper, Basingstoke went on to have by far the better of the half.

Herbert was on his game as early as the tenth minute to keep out Fitzgerald’s near-post poke following a miscued clearance from Lee Chaffey. Then Ben Wright produced some good work on the left to whistle in a cross cum shot that narrowly missed the head of Fitzgerald and the far post.

With too many hopeful long balls to the front two, City produced little, but home stopper, Jonty Venter, was called into action to stop Steve Wells’ crisp low drive after the winger had created some space for himself.

Basingstoke came within inches of taking the lead soon after when Wright gave Chaffey the slip on the left flank and whipped in a pinpoint cross that picked out an unmarked Fitzgerald, but his volley grazed the top of the bar with Herbert beaten.

Following such an indifferent display, City were probably happy to go in at half-time on level terms but were soon on the backfoot with Fitzgerald’s opener, although they very nearly levelled immediately, with Josh Simpson surging into the area and only a last ditch lunging tackle from Bristow saving the day for the Dragons.

Josh Simpson puts the pressure on

Despite the set-back for City, they went on to produce a much improved display with the long balls of the first half replaced with football through the midfield. One such move, City’s best of the game, nearly evened up the scores on 53 minutes. Bowditch found Gash at the back-post, the striker took the ball down and let fly only to see Sean Hankin arrive in the nick of time to block his effort.

City didn’t have long to wait for the equalising goal, and it caught Basingstoke out completely. The home side were caught dozing as Gash and Ashley Fuller exchanged passes from a short corner for the latter to hammer a low shot past Venter at his near-post.

Having got themselves back into the game, disaster struck for the visitors less than a minute later. City got in a complete tangle on the edge of their area and the ball ricocheted kindly for Ben Surey to run on and cross to the far post for Fitzgerald to head home with ease.

Manager Gary Roberts rung the changes, bringing on Mark E’Beyer and Neil Midgley and switching to a three man attack. City continued to press, but without much reward. Simpson saw a shot blocked by Bowditch as it looked destined for the back of the net and Gash should have done better with a header from Bowditch’s free-kick, but unchallenged, he looped a tame effort over the bar.

Try as they might, City could find no way through and although they produced a late surge, the home side held out.

Post match reaction

Gary Roberts
We probably deserved a point in the end, but not to win the game based on our first half showing which wasn’t good enough really. We showed an inability to inject any pace into it and I was a little bit disappointed by that... more