Friday night football returns

Sunday 03 September 2017 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 03 September 2017 at 11:00)

Royal Wootton Bassett Town take on Fairford Town this Friday night in what should be a fascinating FA Vase first qualifying round tie.

A bumper crowd is expected as the local rivals battle it out under the Gerard Buxton Sports Ground floodlights (7.45pm kick off).

It will be the first time the teams have faced each other since a 2015-16 Hellenic League Floodlit Cup tie, which Bassett won 3-1 courtesy of a Steve Robertson hat-trick.

In fact, Bassett have won each of the last four occasions they have met, with Fairford's most recent triumph coming in a Hellenic League Premier Division clash back in March 2005.

Both sides have had difficult starts in the league this season and will be hoping that a Vase victory can kick-start their campaigns.

Fairford, reigning Division One West champions, are aiming to make it through the qualifying rounds of the Vase for the third consecutive season, a stage their hosts haven't reached since 2010-11.

Friday nights have a special place in Bassett's recent history playing in national cup competitions though.

All three home ties of their 2012-13 run to the FA Cup second qualifying round were played on Friday nights at Rylands Way, yielding victories against Calne Town (4-2), Hamworthy United (1-0) and Highworth Town (3-1).

And it is that magic which they'll seek to recreate.

The winners will be rewarded with a home tie in the second qualifying round against Spartans South Midlands League Division One side Codicote.

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