Basingstoke make it three from three

An equalising goal in time added-on at the end of the first half transformed the game, as the visitors took control after the break to run out comfortable winners.

Franklyn Clarke was available again, so manager Matty Holmes restored him to the back-line with Curtis Young joining a strong home bench. With both sides needing points to move away from the relegation battle, there was a scrappy, nervy start to the game.

A Billy Maybury free-kick on 7 minutes was well defended by the Basingstoke wall, keeper Tom McGill made a good save from Toby Holmes after Matt Oldring’s shot was deflected, and Sam Davidson made an incisive tackle on the edge of the box, as play moved from end to end.

Then, just after the mid-point of the half, Wimborne grabbed the initiative. Billy Maybury’s inch-perfect diagonal ball was headed by Luke Burbidge into the path of Clarke. His first shot was blocked, but he stroked the rebound beyond McGill low into the far corner.

Racing back across his goal on 37 minutes, Gerard Benfield made a brilliant instinctive save to keep out Dan Bayliss’s volley. As Wimborne looked to reach the interval in the lead, Basingstoke were awarded a soft free-kick ten yards inside their own half in the final seconds of the two minutes additional time. The home defence failed to clear the lofted ball, and, when it bounced, Yvan Jourdan pounced to steer it past Benfield.

With ears still ringing from their manager’s half-time tongue-bashing, Basingstoke seized the initiative from the first whistle of the second period. On 51 minutes a long throw from the left was flicked on to Ben Wright who found himself unmarked on the edge of the goal area to easily beat Benfield.

Three minutes later, a missed clearance let in Wright but, as he tried to round the keeper, Benfield stuck out a long, strong arm to push the ball away, and Wimborne somehow cleared the ball. On 55 minutes, skipper Sam Deadfield somehow lifted Sam Smart’s cross over the bar when directly under it.

With Bayliss and Jack Wakely marshalling Toby, chances for the home side were few and far between. But a big one came on 70 minutes when Toby got ahead of his defenders and headed Burbidge’s free-kick inches wide.

Almost immediately the Dragons doubled their lead when the unfortunate Maybury, trying to intercept a pass, could only deflect it wide of Benfield. Substitute Sam Argent further increased the lead with a spectacular overhead from Smart’s cross on 75 minutes.

Wimborne did get one back on 81 minutes when Toby connected with Burbidge’s delicate through ball. But the visitors saw out the remaining minutes.

Wimborne : Benfield, Clarke, Maybury, Davidson, Oldring (Lee), Pettefer, Stokoe, Penny (Young), T.Holmes, Burbidge, L.Holmes

Unused subs: Francis, Collins, Bayston

Att: 417

Graham Dunn reports.