MATCH REPORT: Basingstoke
On Tuesday evening County faced Conference South side Basingstoke Town in a pre-season friendly at the Soccer AM Stadium. County found themselves 1-0 down early on before Aaron O'Connor leveled the scores on the half hour mark.
Basingstoke started strongly and were ahead just 10 minutes into the game as new signing Chris Flood finished well inside the area. County responded instantly as Mark Byrne's shot just minutes later whistled over the bar. It was Ismail Yakubu who was next to go close for County finding space in the area from a corner, only to see his header rise just that little bit too much. Into the 30th minute and County continued to press and they got their reward, Rene Howe cut into the area to shoot with Aaron O'Connor helping past the defender on the line to level the scores.
It was County who continued on from were they left off in the Second half as O'Connors shot went just wide. The next chance fell to Yan Klukowski shooting from a tight angle only to see the ball roll over the top of the keeper who somehow managed to hold on to stop a certain goal. As we approached the hour mark Darren Jones saved a certain goal on the line, as the Basingstoke striker rounded Lenny Pidgeley to finish only to find Jones on the line who cleared well to safety.
Following a number of substitutes including the return from injury of Byron Anthony on 85 minutes, Basingstoke pressed in the closing minutes as Lenny Pidgeley pulled off a save at full stretch to deny a last minute winner, the resulting corner ended up coming off the corner of the upright and safely cleared.
Justing Edinburgh commented after the game "Credit to Basingstoke they looked a lively outfit, but again I thought there were some very good performances, Darren Jones and Robbie Willmott were defensively good and Mark Byrne again showed some good creativity, Aaron O'Connor popped up with the goal which is always good. I just thought we were a little bit slow in our build up, not wasteful just a little bit slow."