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REPORT - Basingstoke Town 1 Weston-super-Mare 3
BASINGSTOKE Town manager Jason Bristow was left “devastated” after seeing his side crash out of the FA Cup at the end of their opening match in the competition.
Fellow Conference South side Weston-super-Mare were the better side on the day, securing their place in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 victory at the Camrose on Saturday.
Speaking after the game, Bristow said: “I am devastated that we have been knocked out of the FA Cup in our first game. It’s something that we as a team, club and town want to progress in and today was not acceptable."
In Weston, Town came up against a side who have been playing the passing game Bristow aspires to for several years. It showed, as they looked far more comfortable on the ball, keeping possession much better, while Basingstoke were too often forced to launch hopeful balls forward.
The hosts made a bright start, with Kezie Ibe and Robbie Matthews going closest, but they then allowed Weston to get a foothold in the game.
The visitors took the lead on 18 minutes, Naby Diallo smashing the ball home after Town goalkeeper Louis Wells failed to hold a low cross and Jay Gasson was unable to clear.
Town levelled just two minutes later, Reading loanee Matt Partridge finding the net from close range after Gasson headed a corner back across goal.
The game, which had begun at a ferocious tempo, eased off a bit as Weston found their passing range, but both sides had further opportunities before the end of the half. Robbie Rice made an important block to keep out Brett Trowbridge’s effort, while, Martin Slocombe had to clear off the line after Luke Purnell had half-saved Partridge’s shot.
It was a disastrous start to the second half for the hosts, Chaz Hemmings’ free-kick deflecting off the end of the Basingstoke wall and completely deceiving Wells to give Weston the lead.
Town huffed and puffed but found it hard to break down the visitors’ defence. Substitute Manny Williams went closest from Neil Barrett’s pass but Purnell was off his line quickly to smother the danger.
Weston made the game safe with 13 minutes to go. Having just made a good save to deny Kane Ingram, Wells was unable to hold another shot from distance and Ben Kirk nipped in to net the rebound.
Basingstoke Town: Wells, Rice, Green, Barrett, Gasson, Ray, Daly (sub Jenkinson 69min), Partridge, Matthews (sub Williams 69min), Ibe, McAuley. Subs (not used): Smart, Adams, McDonnell, Johnson-Schuster, Maylan.
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