AS IT HAPPENED - Staines Town 4-5 Basingstoke Town

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  • FULL-TIME - Staines Town 4-5 Basingstoke Town
  • Town edge nine-goal thriller on final day of season at Wheatsheaf Park
  • Hat-trick for Nicholas Bignall
  • Bignall and Wes Daly have Town ahead with two goals in four first-half minutes
  • Bignall's second extends the lead but Louis-Rae Beadle pulls one back before half-time
  • Bignall completes his hat-trick after the break, with Louie Soares adding a fantastic fifth
  • Louie Theophanous, Dan Brown and Erivaldo Felix pull it back to 5-4

5:26pm

That's all for today. Join me for live coverage of Basingstoke and North Hants CC's opening game of the season next Saturday.

Town have one game left, the Hampshire Senior Cup final against Havant and Waterlooville at Fratton Park on May 12.

5:25pm

Today's results saw Basingstoke move up a place in the final standings. They end the season 14th in the Conference South table.

5:14pm

Late drama in the game between Dover and Hayes in the Conference South as well, and it had repercussions at both ends of the table. 

Dover bagged a late winner to steal the final play-off place from Havant and send Hayes and Yeading down.

5:05pm

There was more late drama at Down Grange, with Basingstoke scoring a late try to win the Hampshire Cup with a 13-11 win over Havant.

Reading came from a goal down at half-time to beat Doncaster 3-1. They will be in the Championship play-offs if they beat Burnley next week.

4:59pm

That's a nice touch from the Town players, who went and thanked the visiting fans after the game. Looks like Nathan Smart may have won the Away Supporters' Player of the Year award.

4:58pm

Well, what a way to end the season. If only they could have scored goals like that all year.

It was closer than it should have been at the end, but Staines didn't deserve to get thrashed. It was actually a very competitive game.

Reaction to follow.

4:55pm

Staines Town 4-5 Basingstoke Town

4:54pm

90+4 - Defender Luke Neville has gone up front for Staines. A cross comes in and he heads over.

4:51pm

90+2 - Staines Town 4-5 Basingstoke Town - Erivaldo Felix

Surely Town can't throw this away. A cross comes in from the right and ERIVALDO FELIX heads home to set up a nervous finale.

4:47pm

87 - Staines Town 3-5 Basingstoke Town - Dan Brown

DAN BROWN has missed a couple of chances since coming on at the break, but he makes no mistake there, firing home from close range.

4:46pm

84 - So close to number six for Town. Enver-Marum gets in behind the defence from a goal-kick and his low ball across goal is almost turned into his own net by Ifil, the ball bobbling against the post.

Williams is onto the rebound, shooting into the side-netting.

4:42pm

82 - Another chance for Brown as a free-kick into the area finds him unmarked, but his header is across the face of goal and wide.

4:40pm

80 - Theophanous lets fly from 25 yards and his shot takes a nick off Gasson, but McDonnell is across and makes the save.

4:37pm

76 - Basingstoke Town - Kezie Ibe on for Nicholas Bignall

Hat-trick hero Bignall gets a round of applause from all four sides of the ground as he makes his way off.

4:34pm

73 - Another fine save from McDonnell, denying Theophanous with his legs. The ball comes back into the area and Beadle heads over.

Staines won't give up.

4:31pm

71 - Staines Town 2-5 Basingstoke Town - Louie Theophanous

The ball is worked to LOUIE THEOPHANOUS on the right side of the area, and he blasts a powerful shot beyond McDonnell.

4:30pm

I suppose the big question is, why has it taken until the final day of the season for this to happen?

4:26pm

66 - Staines Town 1-5 Basingstoke Town - Louie Soares

A fantastic strike. The ball breaks to LOUIE SOARES 30 yards out and he smashes the ball into the top corner.

4:23pm

62 - Staines Town 1-4 Basingstoke Town - Nicholas Bignall (hat-trick)

He hadn't score for the club before today, now he has a hat-trick! A great ball in from Smart is met by NICHOLAS BIGNALL's head and he has his third of the day.

4:20pm

58 - Basingstoke Town - Nathan Smart on for Marcus Johnson-Schuster

4:19pm

58 - Another top save from McDonnell, this time keeping out Pashaj's powerful drive, deflecting it over the crossbar with his leg.

4:17pm

57 - Bit of a mess at the bad there. Town just about smuggle the ball out for a corner, with Jerel Ifil's volley blocked from the ball in.

4:12pm

52 - A free-kick drops to Soares on the edge of the Staines area. It's a half-decent opening, but he almost hits the corner flag.

4:09pm

48 - Theophanous fires well over from the edge of the area.

4:09pm

47 - A free-kick into the Town area causes problems, but Brown just fails to get on the end of it.

4:08pm

45 - Four half-time changes in all, three for the hosts and one for Town.

Staines Town - Dan Brown, Stephane Ngamvoulou and Erivaldo Felix on for Lewis Ferrell, Ashley Lodge and Danny Bassett

Basingstoke Town - Louie Soares on for Simon Dunn

4:04pm

Town get the game back under way. The swirling wind is behind them now.

4:03pm

The players make their way back out for the second half.

4:01pm

Elsewhere in the Conference South, there's still a couple of important matters to be decided.

Three teams, Whitehawk, Hayes and Yeading and Maidenhead, went into today locked on 45 points, with one of them set to go down. 

Maidenhead are winning, Hayes are drawing and Whitehawk are losing, so Whitehawk are in the relegation place at the moment.

There's also one play-off spot left to be claimed. Havant are two points ahead of Dover, and both are drawing at half-time.

3:55pm

Elsewhere, it's level at 6-6 at half-time of the Hampshire Cup final between Basingstoke and Havant at Down Grange. Remember, you can follow live coverage of that game elsewhere on the site.

Reading's play-off chances could suffer a blow. They are losing 1-0 away at Doncaster.

3:54pm

Not quite the last day of the season affair I was expecting. 

It's been a good game and Bignall has looked a different player since getting his first goal for the club.

Staines have more than played their part. Could be more goals after the break.

3:50pm

Staines Town 1-3 Basingstoke Town

3:50pm

45 - McAuley lets fly from distance. I think that might have been going in until a defender got his head to it.

3:46pm

43 - Staines Town 1-3 Basingstoke Town - Louis-Rae Beadle

There goes the clean sheet. Town fail to clear a corner properly, with the ball hitting both of Gasson's shins before dropping to LOUIS-RAE BEADLE, who curls the ball beyond McDonnell from about 10 yards.

3:44pm

41 - Bignall fires in a shot from the edge of the area but his effort is tipped over by Turner.

3:40pm

38 - Staines Town 0-3 Basingstoke Town - Nicholas Bignall

A horrible pass across the Staines back four is intercepted by NICHOLAS BIGNALL just inside the opposition half.

He still had plenty to do but showed good pace and strength to ride two challenges and fire past Turner.

3:39pm

37 - Theophanous has a shot on the volley from the edge of the area, but it's well over.

3:38pm

36 - Nice passing around the box from Staines. Theophanous has a good shooting chance but delays slightly, allowing Gasson to get a block, and the ball bobbles into the arms of McDonnell.

3:36pm

34 - A ball over the top has Town in a bit of trouble, but McDonnell is out quickly to hack clear.

3:34pm

31 - Two great chances for Enver-Marum.

First, he is in behind the defence, with only a fine challenge from Lewis Ferrell denying him.

The resulting corner also falls to the striker, but Turner makes a top save to keep his header out.

3:32pm

30 - Sanchez Ming cuts in from the right, beating Jenkinson, before firing in a shot that Gasson gets his body in the way of.

3:31pm

23 - That's a fantastic double save from McDonnell to protect the two-goal lead. 

A corner from the right is met by a Staines head and McDonnell is at full-stretch to keep it out. He then shows great bravery to keep out a follow-up effort and the visitors clear their lines.

3:25pm

21 - Staines Town 0-2 Basingstoke Town - Wes Daly

That's a lovely strike. A corner is taken short to Dunn on the corner of the area and he feeds WES DALY, who has time to steady himself before drilling a low shot in off the post.

3:21pm

18 - Staines Town 0-1 Basingstoke Town - Nicholas Bignall

Jenkinson's cross from the left gets caught in the wind and NICHOLAS BIGNALL beats Turner to the ball at the far post, heading home to open the scoring.

3:20pm

18 - The visitors go close from the resulting corner too, Liam Enver-Marum poking the ball over from close range. Probably should score there.

3:19pm

17 - That's the best effort yet. McAuley won the ball in Staines territory and found Matthews, whose low drive from the edge of the box forced a good save from Jack Turner in the home goal.

3:18pm

15 - Louis-Rae Beadle puts a dangerous cross into the Town area, but Robbie Matthews gets it away. He has done a decent job after being switched to centre-back.

3:16pm

14 - That's leading to long balls, but Staines striker Theophanous does well from that one, pulling it down and beating Jenkinson before firing an angled drive wide.

3:15pm

Due to the systems, it's very congested in midfield. The game has a decent tempo about it though, with both sides pressing quickly.

3:11pm

That attack sparked a heated debate between Jay Gasson and the Town midfield. Assistant manager Michael Gilkes had to step in to sort things out tactically.

3:10pm

8 - Theophanous gets the chance to shoot from range, but it's straight at Joe McDonnell in the Town goal.

3:09pm

Looks like it's a diamond in midfield for Staines as well.

3:07pm

5 - Town force the first corner of the match, but Andrew Jenkinson's delivery is too high for Shaun McAuley.

3:04pm

Looks like it's a midfield diamond for Town, with Manny Williams at the point and Wes Daly the base.

3:03pm

1 - Almost an early chance for the hosts, but Louie Theophanous is flagged offside from Bajram Pashaj's pass.

3:02pm

Staines get the game under way. Town must have won the toss as they will play with the sun at their backs in the first half, shooting from left to right as I look.

2:59pm

The teams make their way out on to the pitch for the pre-match rituals.

Bright sunshine at the moment. Let's hope it stays that way.

2:58pm

2:56pm

TEAMS

Staines Town: Turner, Ming, Worsfold, Ferrell, Neville, Ifil, Lodge, Beadle, Theophanous, Pashaj, Bassett. Subs: Willock, Brown, Dos Santos, Ngamvoulou, Felix.

Basingstoke Town: McDonnell, Johnson-Schuster, Jenkinson, Dunn, Gasson, Matthews, Daly, Enver-Marum, Bignall, Williams. Subs: Adams, Smart, Ibe, Soares, Green.

2:50pm

Live coverage of the Hampshire Cup final between Basingstoke and Havant can be found by clicking here.

2:47pm

The sides have gone inside to make their final preparations. We're still waiting for the official teamsheets.

2:46pm

Not loads to play for today, but final league positions are at stake. 

Staines sit eighth after a great recent run. They could finish seventh, which would be the club's highest finish ever. The lowest they can finish is ninth. A good season whatever happens.

Not so good for Town. They sit 15th but could finish 13th if results go for them today. However, defeat could see them fall to 17th, with only sides in with a chance of being relegated today below them.

2:43pm

Southampton have beaten Everton 2-0, thanks to two first-half own-goals.

2:42pm

The rain has had an impact on the surface though. It's certainly slick and is even cutting up in places, where the warm-ups have been taking place.

2:40pm

VIEW FROM THE PRESS BOX

Basingstoke Gazette:

As you can see, considering it was under water not long ago, the pitch is in decent shape.

2:36pm

Elsewhere this afternoon, Basingstoke RFC are playing in the Hampshire Cup final against Havant.

In the Premier League, it looks like Southampton will beat Everton. They lead 2-0 in injury-time.

Reading are away at Doncaster the Championship. Win their last two games and they will contest the play-offs.

Live coverage of the 'Stoke and Saints games can be found elsewhere on this site, but I'll let you know how things are going at half and full-time here.

2:32pm

Have your say on this afternoon's game, and all things Basingstoke Town, using the comment box below or #bstoketown on Twitter. I'll use any suitable submissions in this blog.

2:31pm

TEAM NEWS

Town make two changes to the side that lost to Concord Rangers on Wednesday. Marcus Johnson-Schuster comes in for Nathan Smart at right-back, with Simon Dunn also returning to the side.

2:21pm

Could be worse though. This is what the pitch here at Wheatsheaf Park looked like in February. 

Basingstoke Gazette:

2:17pm

They players are just beginning their warm-ups, following a heavy shower. Think there could be a few more of them as the afternoon progresses. Classic April weather.

2:06pm

Good afternoon and welcome to live text coverage of this afternoon's Conference South fixture between Staines Town and Basingstoke Town at Wheatsheaf Park.

It's the final day of the season, and both sides will want to go out on a high.

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