Royal Wootton Bassett Town fell to a heavy 4-0 home defeat against Ascot United.
Young, energetic and playing some flowing football, Ascot United proved much too strong for Royal Wootton Bassett Town in the return fixture between the two teams as Sam Collier's team suffered a 4-0 loss, the heaviest home league reverse of the Bassett manager's tenure.
It wasn't until the stroke of half time that the visitors, who Bassett had held to a 1-1 draw in Berkshire at the beginning of the month, went ahead. But they quickly pulled away in the second period, aided by a penalty for handball shortly after the restart.
It was a chastening defeat for Bassett, whose hopes of achieving a first ever top half finish in the Hellenic League Premier Division sustained a heavy blow.
Sam Packer and Josh Shama both had good opportunities to give Bassett the lead in the opening period. But the visitors were not short of chances either, with Dan Price and Elliott Carey narrowly missing the target and the latter also having a header cleared away off the line.
Ascot eventually went in front in the final minute of the half, Carey knocking the ball down for defender Harry Laflin, who fired in on the turn.
Within five minutes of the second half getting underway, the defender had his second as he made no mistake from the spot following a handball.
The rout was then on shortly after the hour. A well-worked team move eventually led to Lamin Sankoh teeing up Price, and he sent a low drive beyond the reach of Kevin Sawyer in the Bassett goal.
After Sawyer did well to keep out a Sankoh effort, Bassett had a rare second half opportunity as Matt Bennett came close.
Ascot then proceeded to break down the other end and grabbed their fourth as Luqman Kassim picked out the far corner from distance.
With three games remaining, Bassett now find themselves in tenth place. As most teams above them possess games in hand, it will take at least two wins from those final trio of fixtures to at least stand a chance of cracking the top nine.
Still, it's been a relatively successful season, though once again a post-Christmas downturn in form has served to undermine a positive start. In fact, in each of their last four campaigns, Bassett have won just nine times in the league in January, February, March and April. Over the course of the past two, they currently have only two victories in those months.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Saturday 23rd March 2019 at 17:17