Team: Gavin, Paul Adams, Paul Hunt, Steve F, Ben Naylor, Alan, Neal, Trace Morgan, Dave T.

The first game of the season was a satisfactory result for an incomplete team against one of the stronger clubs in the tournament. Starting the handicapped game with an 11 goal headstart the team done well to score only one less, missing their usual keeper and with major holes in the defence.

The long summer break had taken it's toll on an unfit Basingstoke team, but for most of the game the first-squad pulled together, filling the gaps of the lacking defence as well as those around the opposition's keeper's arms.

I don't have the score sheet so please excuse the limited write-up, but Dave T pulled the old magic out of the bag scoring a couple of cracking goals with his usual delicate touch. Neal had a strong offensive game, touching in a magestic pass from Trace, who set up several of the decisive goals. These included one of the two for Gavin, out on the right wing, receiving on his back and then seeing the puppy home.

Now almost expected good play came from Paul Hunt, who played a solid midfield, making space and steeling 50-50 balls; and Steve, who swam his little cotton socks off, winning the ball for all 3 of his start of quater balls. Ben Naylor played hole-defender amicably, wrestling with the big strong opposition he helped keep the goal tally in Basingstoke's favour. Dispite complaining of serious unfittness after the long and indulgent summer Alan gave it his best when battling in the offensive pit.

Paul was awarded man-of-the-match (amoungst the Basingstoke team) taking on the role of keeper with animpressive performance dispite this not being his usual position, but was also awarded Donkey-of-the-match for school-boy errors (and for being able to take the critisism).

Basingstoke can walk away from this match feeling confident for the on-coming season, which includes a return to National League after over 10 years, with only one of the previous squad still playing.

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