BASINGSTOKE Town maintained their unbeaten record in their pre-season campaign, as they came from behind to draw 2-2 at Swindon Supermarine on a hot Saturday afternoon.
The visitors made just one change to the starting line-up which drew with Newport County, with Andrew Jenkinson coming into the midfield for Ryan Scott, who has left the club due to work commitments.
The home side were minus a few players as their captain was getting married, so former Town defender Ross Adams wore the armband for the game and led by example.
Town started the better with the impressive Sam Worrell tested by Chris Flood and Sean McAuley.
So it was no real surprise when the Dragons opened the scoring on 12 minutes, as Simon Dunn’s excellent ball from the left gave Manny Williams an easy tap in at the far post.
The visitors went close adding a second as Dunn forced a save from Worrell.
In an entertaining contest which the home side were playing their part in and they drew level as Aaron Ferris’ corner which Adams flicked on and Bradley Gray made sure it found the net after 29 minutes.
This lifted the home side and from then on it was an even contest.
The impressive Nathan Smart flashed a shot just wide before stinging the gloves of Worrell.
Then a last ditch tackle from Rob Rice denied Ryan Stanners as he tried to get his shot away.
As the half came to a close Liam Enver-Marum was forced out of the action due to a heel injury.
He was replaced by Julian Owusu, who had signed for Town two days before the game The second-half due to the amount of changes and the heat never lived up to the first 45 minutes, but there were still two more goals.
There was one very nearly in the first minute after the break as Gray volleyed over.
Town hit back as robust Owusu and Tom Bird went close, before the home side took the lead.
A ball over the top left the defence flat footed and Khatape Fall made no mistake with his finish, having missed a chance a minute earlier.
Town now went all out for the equaliser with 20 minutes to go they levelled as a lovely cross from Bird found Sam Argent at the back post to head home.
Sub Josh Drew so nearly scored the winner for Town, as he volley forced a finger tip save from Worrell.
Stuart Moore – 7 out of 10
No real chance with either goal.
Nathan Smart – 8
Looked very lively going forward and was unlucky not to score.
Tom Bird – 9 (Gazette Star Man)
Solid at the back and excellent going forward, with great delivery with his crosses.
Andrew Jenkinson – 7
Worked hard in midfield on a hot day.
Jay Gasson – 7
The captain had his work cut out trying to stop former teammate Ross Adams.
Rob Rice – 7
Always looked good, but made a rare mistake when he allowed the ball to bounce over his head, but there was no finish.
Simon Dunn – 8
Very busy all game and his crosses created a number of chances.
Shaun McAuley – 8
Good performance in midfield and always ready to join the attack.
Liam Enver-Marum – 6
Troubled by injury from the start and forced out after 44 minutes.
Chris Flood – 7
Looked dangerous early on and then faded.
Manny Williams – 8
Always looked to have more time on the ball than any other player.
Kieran Maylem (for Rice 63) – 7
Made one excellent block in a solid performance.
Sam Argent (for Flood 55) – 8
Always busy and scored another nice goal.
Julian Owusu (for Enver-Marum 44) – 8
Old style robust centre forward used his size well and this gives Town another forward option.
Adam Nditi (for Dunn 55) – 6
Made no real impression.
Junior Strassa (for Jenkinson 81) – 7
No real time to make a mark on the game.
Josh Drew (for Smart 81) – 7
Despite his short time on the pitch still managed to force a save.
Marcus Johnson-Schuster (for McAuley 63) - 7
Solid in the midfield.