LiveAS IT HAPPENED - Basingstoke Town 1-2 Eastbourne Borough

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Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

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Summary

  • FULL-TIME - Basingstoke Town 1-2 Eastbourne Borough
  • Injury-hit Town lose vital ground in Conference South play-off race.
  • Louie Soares opens the scoring on 14 minutes.
  • Two goals in three minutes for Ollie Rowe and Elvis Hammond have the visitors ahead by the half-hour mark.
  • Town press in second half but can't find a goal.

10:22pm

That's all for tonight folks. Join me again on Saturday, when Town are due to visit in-form Sutton United.

10:15pm

Tonight's result has seen Town drop a place to 10th in the table. They remain seven points off the play-off places with games in hand, but they are now five points behind Eastbourne, who are eighth.

9:43pm

Today was the day where it all caught up with Town. They were off the pace for the crucial part of the first half and while they did well after the break, they were just missing too much quality in the final third due to injury.

Is that the play-off dream over for another year? Not just yet, but it's going to take a really good run now. Three points tonight would have been massive for Town, but they are just as big for Eastbourne. 

Reaction to follow.

9:38pm

Basingstoke Town 1-2 Eastbourne Borough

9:35pm

90 - That's probably the last chance for the hosts. Green's long ball finds Matthews in behind but that's a terrible finish, blazed tamely over the bar. No confidence.

Town will have four minutes of added time to find an equaliser.

9:31pm

87 - Strong run from Soares down the left. His shot is half-blocked and just evades Ibe on its way through to Ross.

9:28pm

Eastbourne Borough - Simon Johnson on for Charlie Gorman (84)

9:26pm

Town seem to be meandering to defeat here. Not much Jason Bristow can do from the bench, in terms of bringing people on, either.

9:24pm

79 - The crowd, such as it is, appeal for a penalty as Ibe goes for the ball. Nobody on the field seemed interested though, including Ibe.

9:22pm

77 - Darren Lok and Charlie Gorman - Eastbourne Borough

That's a pretty awful challenge on Adam Green from Lok, who is lucky only to see yellow. Gorman gets the same punishment for dissent.

9:18pm

Town are seeing plenty of the ball, but good pressing from the visitors is stopping them creating anything clear cut.

Just 183 people here tonight.

9:15pm

Eastbourne Borough - Darren Lok on for Stacy Long (70)

9:14pm

69 - Good play by Soares down the right. He squares the ball, Rice dummies and Smart lets fly, but the shot is blocked.

9:12pm

68 - Eastbourne goalkeeper Ross is ticked off for time wasting by the referee.

9:09pm

65 - Big chance for the visitors as Town are caught short at the back and Lewis Tallack finds himself through. He lets fly but Wells tips it over the bar.

9:08pm

64 - Soares lets fly with a volley from the edge of the area. Not far wide.

9:06pm

Town have made a really good start to the second half. They have 30 minutes left to get back into this.

9:02pm

58 - Almost a chance as Ross drops a cross from the right, but there is no Town player in the right place to take advantage.

9:00pm

56 - That was a dangerous break for the visitors but Town got back well and the move end with an easy catch for Wells.

8:57pm

53 - More good work from Hammond, who fires in an angled drive that Wells has to save with his legs.

8:55pm

51 - Soares crosses from the left and finds Smart but it's just too high for him and he can only loop a header straight into the arms of Ross.

8:53pm

49 - The ball breaks for Jay Gasson just outside the box following a corner. It's a decent strike on the volley but wide of the far post.

8:52pm

48 - Smart is released down the right but his low cross is smuggled away.

8:50pm

47 - Ibe attempts an ambitious effort from long range. Mind my car Kezie.

8:49pm

Town get the game under way again. No changes for either side at the break.

8:47pm

The players make their way out for the second half.

8:45pm

The Royals have taken the lead at Leeds, Garath McCleary with the goal.

8:40pm

Reading are drawing 0-0 at Leeds and former manager Brian McDermott. I think the game kicked off late due to traffic problems around Elland Road, so they are not at half-time yet.

8:39pm

The busy schedule and injury list looked like it was catching up with Town in that half. They were chasing shadows at times and too often resorted to throwing long balls forward.

Hammond has made a massive difference to Eastbourne with his pace and hold-up play. He's a real focal point for them.

8:34pm

Basingstoke Town 1-2 Eastbourne Borough

8:30pm

43 - It's got a bit scrappy. Town need to regroup at half-time, preferably no more than one goal behind.

8:28pm

41 - Smart nicks the ball and sets up a promising break, but Ibe is unable to control and the chance is snuffed out.

8:25pm

37 - Another opportunity for Hammond. This time it's Wells to the rescue, coming off his line to save at the striker's feet. It's all Eastbourne at the moment.

8:24pm

35 - Town allow Hammond to turn in the area and it takes a good block to stop him getting a shot away.

8:17pm

Basingstoke Town 1-2 Eastbourne Borough - Elvis Hammond (30)

A complete turnaround. It's a nice move, which ends with Raymond slipping ELVIS HAMMOND through. The old campaigner makes no mistake, slotting past Wells to give his side the lead.

8:15pm

Basingstoke Town 1-1 Eastbourne Borough - Ollie Rowe (27)

Raymond is denied by Wells after being slipped through but it's his corner that leads to the equaliser, OLLIE ROWE rising highest to head home at the far post.

8:14pm

It's a bit frantic at the moment. Both teams like to play normally but the ball is spending a lot of time in the air.

8:13pm

25 - Couple of half-chances for Town. Matthews is almost in behind but his touch lets him down, while Rice fires over the bar from distance.

8:08pm

21 - Town goalkeeper Louis Wells misjudges a high ball into the area but the assistant comes to his rescue, flagging for a soft foul.

8:07pm

19 - Hammond is penalised for handball as an Eastbourne attack comes to an end. He gives them a real threat in behind though, something they were missing in Sussex a couple of months ago.

8:01pm

Basingstoke Town 1-0 Eastbourne Borough - Louie Soares (14)

That's a nice goal. Nathan Smart puts in a good cross from the right and LOUIE SOARES is up to power home a header at the far post. Plenty of men in the box for Town there, and it paid off.

8:01pm

13 - Town made a strong start, keeping the ball pretty well, but Eastbourne are on top at the moment. That's another dangerous ball in from a free-kick but it's headed wide.

7:59pm

Town have lined up as expected. 4-4-2 with Johnson-Schuster at right-back and Rice in midfield.

Eastbourne are playing 3-5-2. Could make things interesting.

7:58pm

10 - That's a dangerous ball in from Charlie Gorman but Town get it away. Important header from David Ray.

7:53pm

6 - Hammond thinks he is through, but the offside flag is up.

7:52pm

3 - Kezie Ibe is almost in behind the visiting defence but is pulled back by Adam Watts, who is very fortunate not to even get a yellow card for that. 

The free-kick causes problems too, an Eastbourne defender heading narrowly wide of his own goal.

7:49pm

2 - Johnson-Schuster gets an early taste of the action and that's a decent cross, which Craig Ross in the home goal flaps at before his defence tidy up.

7:47pm

Eastbourne get the game under way. They are shooting towards the Clubhouse End in the first half.

7:43pm

Here come the two teams, on their way out for the pre-match rituals.

7:41pm

The players are in the changing rooms getting their final instructions.

7:40pm

Just a reminder that this is Basingstoke's fifth game in 11 days. No wonder they are down to the bare bones, player-wise. 

There are two  Academy players on the bench alongside two untried youngsters in Ryan Debattista and Kieran Maylen. Ross Adams is the only senior player on the bench.

7:36pm

It's a dry, mild spring night here in Basingstoke. The pitch seems to be recovering pretty well, with far fewer bare patches than there were when Maidenhead visited 10 days ago.

7:29pm

Couple of interesting names in the Eastbourne side. Frankie Raymond is an ex-Reading youngster who had a loan spell at Town, while Elvis Hammond is a striker who has been around the block a few times.

7:27pm

TEAMS

Basingstoke Town: Wells, Johnson-Schuster, Green, Rice, Gasson, Ray, Smart, Jenkinson, Ibe, Matthews, Soares. Subs: Adams, Debattista, Maylen, Parker, Greene.

Eastbourne Borough: Ross, Tallack, Cole, Aldred, Simpemba, Watts, Rowe, Raymond, Hammond, Gorman, Long. Subs: Johnson, Levy, Stinson, Worrall, Lok.

7:19pm

Town go into tonight's game ninth in the Conference South table, seven points outside the play-off places, though they have games in hand on most of the sides above them.

Win tonight and they will go up one place, leapfrogging tonight's opponents into eighth.

7:13pm

Have your say on tonight's game by using the comment box below or #bstoketown on Twitter. I'll use any suitable submissions in this blog.

7:11pm

TEAM NEWS

Seems that the busy spell has caught up with Town, who are without six players for tonight's game.

Wes Daly, Shaun McAuley and Neil Barrett remain out, while Manny Williams misses the game with the knee problem that kept him out of Saturday's trip to Dover.

Added to that, Simon Dunn has a thigh problem and Jordace Holder-Spooner is also not fit to start.

I am told that Robbie Matthews will come in for Holder-Spooner, with Dunn replaced by Marcus Johnson-Schuster. He looks set to slot in at right-back, with Robbie Rice partnering Andrew Jenkinson in the centre of midfield.

7:01pm

Good evening and welcome to live text coverage of tonight's Conference South game between Basingstoke Town and Eastbourne Borough at the Camrose.

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