BASINGSTOKE Town have clinched a draw against Hungerford Town on Tuesday night, having gone three league games without a win.

‘Stoke welcomed the Berkshire side under the Winklebury floodlights hoping to walk away with something from the match after failing to secure a point since November 4.

On 17 minutes Marcus Johnson-Schuster saw a chance at goal but his effort was well saved by the Hungerford keeper. It didn’t take long for the away side to take the lead, with ‘Stoke going behind 0-1 in the 21st minute.

Dan Brownlie’s side continued to press, with keeper Paul Strudley making a good save on 38 minutes to deny Hungerford a chance to extend their lead.

After half time, on 57 minutes Liam Ferdinand was taken off injured which Brownlie said “on the basis of his mobility after the game he will be lucky to see Saturday”. Stefan Brown replaced Ferdinand.

Five minutes later ‘Stoke were awarded a penalty, with Bradley Wilson slotting the ball into the bottom corner, to draw the home side level.

‘Stoke went ahead on 67 minutes as Michael Atkinson pounced on a loose ball and slotted it into an empty net. Wilson tried to put Town further ahead but his shot went just wide of the far post.

A win wasn’t meant to be for Basingstoke as on 85 minutes Hungerford were awarded a penalty, which Brownlie later called “controversial”. The game ended 2-2, leaving ‘Stoke in 12th place ahead of welcoming Beaconsfield Town on Saturday (kick off 3pm).

Speaking after the match on the club’s YouTube channel, Brownlie said: “The performance was worth of something from the game at the very least, certainly the second-half performance. I thought the first half there were times where we were a little passive, playing into their hands and into their traps. 

“The second half, fair play to the boys, the application, attitude, willingness to work shone through and unfortunately we have been undone in the last few minutes by a controversial penalty. 

“A point against a side like that, particularly in the form they are in, is a pleasing one.”

On Saturday, ‘Stoke were beaten by Sholing in an exciting game, as thick fog descended on Winklebury, writes Jacob Wilkinson.

Basingstoke began well and looked bright going forward. However, for all their positive play, Sholing had the best early chances to open the scoring.

Centre-back Dan Miller saw a looping header from a corner tipped over the bar by Paul Strudley, whilst Jake Cope was unable to find a finish when he was set in behind the ‘Stoke defence.

Dan Brownlie’s side were also left ruing missed opportunities, as Brad Wilson’s left-footed effort was cleared off the line by Charlie Davis – with Scott Armsworth nodding the rebound over the bar.

Paul Hodges was also unable to find a teammate after he pounced on a miscue from Sholing goalkeeper Ryan Gosney, who did well to recover.

After a somewhat scrappy opening half, Basingstoke did eventually open the scoring – through striker Liam Ferdinand. Gosney played a loose pass out from the back, which Wilson latched on to before rolling the ball through to Ferdinand – who slid it past the goalkeeper with a first-time finish.

The lead was short-lived, however, as the visitors hit back less than 10 minutes into the second period. This time, Strudley was the goalkeeper to make an error – playing a pass to Sholing striker Daniel Mason, who slotted the ball off the left post and into the back of the net to equalise.

Mason was on target for the Boatmen again, just under 15 minutes later, to give his side the lead for the first time in the game. Pacey forward Luka Chalwell made an intelligent run in behind, before laying the ball back to Mason on the edge of the box – who took a touch before curling an excellent strike into the top-right corner.

There was more drama around 20 minutes from time, when Sholing left-back Brad Targett, who had already been booked after a melee when tensions had boiled over earlier, was shown a second yellow card by referee Harrison Blair for a handball in the box.

Basingstoke piled the pressure on in the closing stages, searching for a late equaliser – which they thought they’d found when Ferdinand looked to have scored his second of the evening. Substitute George Reid whipped an excellent cross into the box, which Liam Ferdinand prodded past Gosney. However, the celebrations were short-lived as the goal was adjudged to be offside by the linesman.

In the end, ‘Stoke were left with no points from a game that Brownlie “couldn’t believe his side didn’t get anything out of”.