Celebrating success: U15 cup double winners and league runners-up
Tuesday 26 June 2018 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 26 June 2018 at 10:03)
The final team to be featured in our 'Celebrating Success' series are Royal Wootton Bassett Town's Under 15 Blues, whose astonishing 2017-18 campaign saw them win the Wiltshire County Cup and North Wilts League Cup and also finish as runners-up in North Wilts League Division One.
Wiltshire County Under 15 Cup winners 2017-18
Royal Wootton Bassett Town's Under 15 Blues became only the second youth side in the club's history to win a County Cup competition as they were crowned kings of Wiltshire in 2017-18.
They did so in impressive fashion too, overcoming North Wilts League Division One champions Swindon Supermarine R in the quarter finals before seeing off Mid Wilts Youth League high-flyers Trowbridge Town Youth Lions in the last four.
Their journey to the final began with a walkover against Highworth Town Juniors J in the opening round and a bye in the second round.
They therefore first kicked a ball in anger in the competition in the third round and romped to an 8-0 away victory against south Wiltshire side Alderbury Warriors. Landon Golding and Thomas Pitt led the way with braces, while Nat Bell, Michael Gilder, Billy Saunders and Daniel Warre also netted.
Their quarter final encounter with Supermarine was always going to be a much tougher contest, but an outstanding performance saw Bassett triumph 4-0 as Bell, Golding, Warre and Jack Langcaster found the back of the net.
Bleak spring weather meant that their semi final clash away at Trowbridge wasn't played until mid-April. But when the game did go ahead, it was a thriller. Trowbridge took the lead, and when Warre missed a penalty it seemed as though luck was on the hosts' side.
However, goals in the last ten minutes from Warre – this time keeping his cool from twelve yards – and Ben Cardus sealed a dramatic come from behind victory for Bassett.
Awaiting in the final were North Wilts League rivals Castle Combe Colts. Bassett proved too good for them though, sealing the title with a 3-0 win. All the goals came in a fine first half display as Bell notched a brace and Langcaster struck.
North Wilts League Under 15 Cup winners 2017-18
The Under 15 Blues then completed a knockout double as they triumphed in the North Wilts League Cup.
And they sealed the trophy in style, defeating Swindon Supermarine – the side who pipped them to the Division One title – in the final.
Bassett's road to success had been a tough one, and in the end they would beat the teams finishing first, third and fourth in Division One, meaning they well and truly deserved to take home the silverware.
In the opening round they saw off Division Two Malmesbury Youth Tornadoes 4-0 thanks to goals from Landon Golding (2), Adam Jones and Thomas Pitt.
That set up a second round tie against Division One rivals FC Calne. However, Bassett proved too good for their opponents on the day, booking a spot in the last eight with a 7-0 win. Golding again scored a brace, with Nathaniel Bell also adding two, while Jack Langcaster and Daniel Warre completed the scoring.
Bassett maintained their record of not having conceded a goal in the competition when they saw off Castle Combe Colts 5-0 in the quarter finals. Warre this time led the way with two, with Bell and Golding also on target.
A nail-biting semi-final contest followed against Highworth Town Juniors T. The game went to extra time where it would be decided by Billy Saunders' well-taken winner.
Though they would eventually concede a goal in the final against Supermarine, that was after Golding, Ben Chin and George Ford had found the net for Bassett, setting them well on their way to a third North Wilts League Cup win in four seasons.
North Wilts League Under 15 Division One Runners-up 2017-18
Only the finest of margins separated the Under 15 Blues from a historic treble in 2017-18, as three defeats by a single goal ultimately meant they finished as runners-up in North Wilts League Division One.
Their final placing was determined by a pair of agonising losses to eventual champions Swindon Supermarine in the space of four days; had the results gone the other way then it would have been Bassett who ended the season top of the pile.
Bassett had started their campaign in fine style, recording convincing wins away against Croft Junior Blue (6-2) and at home against FC Calne (5-0).
However, they suffered their first loss of the campaign away against Highworth Town Juniors T, falling by the odd goal in five despite goals from Nathaniel Bell and Daniel Warre.
They bounced back in fine style though. Landon Golding's brace led the way in a 4-1 victory against Lydiard Millicent Juniors, before he and Warre found the net twice in a 6-1 defeat of Cirencester Town Gladiators. Five unanswered goals against Castle Combe Colts then made it three wins on the bounce before a lengthy lay-off from league action due to cup commitments and postponements.
After almost three months without a league game, they returned with a 13-0 thrashing of Croft. Bell scored three times, Warre, Thomas Pitt and Billy Saunders each netted twice, while Golding, Michael Gilder and Jack Langcaster also found the net. Having had three games awarded in their favour, they then saw of Calne 3-1 courtesy of two from Warre and a Ben Cardus goal.
That set them up for what would be a pair of title deciding fixtures against Supermarine, whose record was unblemished. But Bassett came up narrowly short. Away they were beaten 1-0, then at home they fell 2-1, Golding scoring for Bassett.
Those losses proved a setback, but runners-up spot was clinched with a 4-1 win over FC Chippenham Youth and a comfortable 4-0 triumph against third place side Castle Combe to end the season. Those final two games demonstrated Bassett's quality all over the pitch – which had inspired them to County and League Cup glory too - as four different scorers netted in each game.
The treble may have been missed out on. But a cup double and league runners-up finish was still an unbelievable haul from a fantastic season.