Veterans Summer League
Thursday 15 June 2017 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 23 August 2017 at 20:36)
Royal Wootton Bassett Town's Veterans team once again took part in the Wiltshire County FA Summer League.
One of seven teams to enter, Bassett began the campaign hoping to seal the title for the first time in their fifth year of participating in the competition.
And they certainly got off on the right foot, defeating Malmesbury Vets 5-0 in their opening fixture.
Steve Howse was the star of the show, netting a hat trick, while Steve Shaw and Paul Jack completed the scoring.
Bassett then took on KMLC, who had enjoyed plenty of success in previous Summer League editions, in their second fixture.
They endured a disastrous start in that match, falling 2-0 down inside six minutes. However, Shaw and Martin Ohrland scored to level before the break.
The game seemed destined for a draw, but, disappointingly for Bassett, KMLC regained the lead with five minutes remainining.
There was still drama to come as Bassett thought they had equalised in the final minute, but the referee ruled out what appeared to be a legitimate goal.
Bassett were able to bounce back from that defeat with a comfortable 4-1 victory against bottom side Trowbridge Tigers in their third game though. Howse and Shaw both netted braces to seal the win.
The result meant the team remained third, three points behind pacesetters KMLC and Marlborough Town.
However, Bassett were to slip a place after a 5-2 loss against The Globe Swindon in their fourth game. Shaw scored his fifth of the Summer League season, while Nick Warren also netted. That defeat meant the teams swapped places in the table.
There was a longer than expected break before Bassett's penultimate fixture of the campaign against Marlborough Town. And it was another heavy 5-2 defeat for Bassett against a Marlborough team who claimed top spot with victory. Consolation goals came from Howse and Ohrland.
Defeat meant a top three finish was no longer possible.
However, Bassett still had a chance to claim a fourth place finish. To do that they needed to beat incumbents FC Calne in their final match.
And, in a tight encounter, they did that, with Howse's seventh of the campaign and an own goal securing a 2-0 victory.