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REPORT - US Portsmouth 1 Basingstoke Town 3
MANNY Williams bagged a brace as Basingstoke Town cruised into the third round of the Hampshire Senior Cup with a confident victory at US Portsmouth on Tuesday night.
Manager Jason Bristow made five changes but put out a strong side that comfortably outclassed their Wessex League Division One opponents and should have scored more goals.
There was some wayward finishing but Town also found home goalkeeper Pete Houkes on top form, the Navy man making a string of top-quality saves.
He was called into action for the first time on 15 minutes, saving well to deny Shaun McAuley, though Robbie Matthews should have done better with the rebound.
Houkes then denied Williams after a good run before recovering to keep out Matthews’ header seconds later with an excellent stop.
Town took the lead on 21 minutes, Williams giving Houkes no chance from Adam Green’s ball in, but the ’keeper was soon back to his best, denying Matthews for a third time.
An excellent free-kick saw Basingstoke double their lead, Wes Daly scooping the ball over the US Portsmouth wall for an unmarked Williams to rifle a shot into the top corner, while Minhaz Uddin’s unfortunate own-goal from Green’s low cross put the visitors 3-0 up at half-time.
Town had chances to extend their lead after the break. Matthews inexplicably headed well wide when given the freedom of the penalty area before being denied by Houkes again soon after.
Houkes also saved well from McAuley, while Williams nearly completed his hat-trick with an angled drive – but Uddin had the last say, looping a shot over Joe McDonnell and into the top corner via a deflection to make up for his earlier error.
Basingstoke manager Jason Bristow said: “The performance was really good, we got 90 minutes into a few players who needed it and rested others. We played some good stuff and with a bit more conviction we could have had seven or eight goals.”
Basingstoke Town: McDonnell, Smart, Green (sub Johnson-Schuster 73), Barrett, Adams, Ray (sub Maylen 62min), Daly (sub Ibe 70min), McAuley, Matthews, Williams, Jenkinson. Subs (not used): Gasson, Wells.