Basildon - Bostik North (Away)

Result: Basildon United 0 - 1 Felixstowe & Walton Utd
Date: 17 November 2018
Time: 15:00
Match Type: Bostik North
Attendance: 121

Well it wasn’t pretty, but we came away from Basildon with three points, satisfied that we know how to dig in, work hard and get the job done.

Anyone who was at the Woodbridge cup game last week was reminded of how things were last season. There, we witnessed a 5-1 win against a spirited team, where the result was never really in doubt. Our move up a step to The Bostik North, however, has shown us (forgive the cliché) that there really are no easy games at this level.

In fairness, had we visited The Ho Stadium in Basildon a few weeks ago things would almost certainly have been much tougher. Cuts to the budget, the departure of first team boss Marc Harrison and the loss of around eight first team players has seen a drop in form with The Bees slipping from top spot down to fifth. In recent weeks the Essex side have brought in a number of replacements from The Essex Senior League alongside three new additions from Great Wakering Rovers.

Nevertheless, this was a Basildon side that drew 0-0 at AFC Sudbury a week ago and on Saturday they were certainly no pushovers. An early effort from Rhys Henry looked like it was going in, only to sail past the keeper’s left hand post but, if the truth be told, it was hard work for a while in that first period. When Jordy Matthews is missing from midfield, it’s noticeable. This is to take nothing away from those midfielders on Saturday who worked their socks off, but it did seem, in those early stages, as if we were perhaps a little outnumbered in that part of the field.

We did, however, make the all important breakthrough on 27 minutes following some neat footwork from Rhys Henry which led to Miles Powell’s header only being parried by Joseph Jonson Lamar in the Basildon goal with Sam Ford lurking to tap in what turned out to be the winning goal.

The home side did manage to put the ball in the net midway through the first half only to see their effort disallowed for handball. What was nice to see was that, despite three bookings in total, the game was played in a good spirit with few or no silly “goings on” throughout the game.

Both sides had half chances during the first period but neither team managed to capitalize. Consensus at half time from the fans was that we were happy to be a goal up but the lead was slender and we would need to put in a shift in the second period if we wanted to come home happy with three points in the bag.

Speaking after the game, Ian (Watty) Watson was happy that putting in a shift was exactly what they had done, saying, “This was a dogged performance and everyone in the team dug in. They all worked hard for each other to get the three points. We need to give (Basildon) a bit of credit because they were better than we expected. They caused us a few problems but Jack Spurling made an absoluteworldy and that was the turning point in the game. Had they equalized it might have dampened our spirits. Sam Ford worked his nuts off in midfield and all in all this was happy days for everyone.”

More than a few renditions of ”Waltzing Sam Fordy” were heard throughout the game and, whilst everyone at the club wishes Sam well as his adventure to Australia looms, it does seem he has hit form just as he prepares to leave. Ah well, such is the way of things.

The second half saw both sides fail to put away the few chances they had but credit has to be given for what turned out to be 45 minutes of very hard work. It was nice to see the whole team turn to applaud the travelling Seasiders the instant the final whistle was blown. The fifty odd Seasiders were in fine form all afternoon. (That’s “fifty odd” not “odd Seasiders”…. if you get my drift). The point in parenthesis could be disputed of course.

Attention now turns, as they say, to Witham Town at home next weekend. Our visitors currently find themselves rock bottom of the league as things stand but we need to remember that this was the case when Soham Town Rangers visited The Goldstar Ground a short while ago. Soham, of course, went home with all three points. Watty and Kevin will not want to see a repeat of that I’m sure.

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