Pretty Underwhelming Trip

The draw for the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round gave the Dons… a pretty underwhelming trip to Basingstoke. At first I thought ‘Great, it’s a straight shot on the train from Surbiton…’, until I remembered the walk through endless shopping malls, down a seemingly never-ending road and over a major road junction. It’s a good job I’m doing the Minithon, I’m going to need the fitness (or maybe get a cab this time round?).

All things considered, the draw could have been worse – we avoided our Conference rivals, although probability suggested as most of them are based in The North and the draw is still regionalised we would have been unfortunate to pull out a Luton or a Crawley. We also missed out on real potential banana skins, I’m thinking away to Bromley/Chelmsford, Dover or Dartford, places where the locals would turn up in real numbers and make things tough for us. You get the impression that even a disinterested Dons fanbase will more than match the local turnout on the day…

And yet, it could have been better. A home draw against a Ryman League side would have been nice… Basingstoke are the sort of team who can cause problems for us by getting right in our faces and turning the occasion into a Proper Cup Tie. With a sprinkling of Cup Magic we might be on the wrong end of an upset. No fielding weakened sides here – we are going to have to put out a full strength eleven firing on all cylinders to ensure our place in the First Round… even then anything less than full commitment could see us dragged back to Kingsmeadow for a replay… or possibly worse…

Basingstokes home form hasn’t really set the division alight so far with two wins, two defeats and a draw, but as we all know anyone driving down the A339 past the ground best avoid the Form Book, as its going to go flying out the window come kick off time…

Our last visit was quite early in our BSS promotion season – I vaguely remember it should have been a complete hammering, but the Dons ended up holding on for a 1-0 win. My only other recollection was the outside of the ground reminded me vaguely of walking past the old South Stand at Plough Lane, but this may have been because it’s also painted yellow and blue…

There have been a couple of links between the two clubs already this year, although Basingstoke haven’t had much luck with either of them… Ross Montague signed for them over the summer following his release, only to promptly damage his knee ending his season (and lets keep our fingers crossed not his career?). Then last month young striker Delano Sam-Yorke went for a loan spell, but ended up getting sent-off in his first game…

I mentioned yesterday how the FA Cup is quite favourable towards Conference clubs like ourselves… we only need to win this game to get to the First Round and potential windfall (as well as a share of the replays pot). We need a good run this year to keep our name on people’s lips, remind our local public and floating support that we are on the verge of something great… decent FA Cup runs don’t normally result in a long-term growth in league attendances, but every bit of publicity helps… Basingstoke won’t be a walkover but a win should be expected…

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One thought on “Pretty Underwhelming Trip

  1. Lemming Don says:

    My second-choice team to face Basingstoke would involve most of the first team with Wellard behind Kedwell with Main supporting from the flank to make a 4-5-1 that’s almost a 4-4-2. Thus we play a strong team to ensure we get throught to the first round propa via a fixture with a full week either side for the team to prepare for/recover from.
    My first-choice team would be WHATEVER TERRY BROWN CHOOSES.

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