Agony and ecstasy in County Cup finals
Sunday 24 March 2019 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 24 March 2019 at 19:15)
While goals were at a premium, there was plenty of drama in both Wiltshire County Cup finals involving Royal Wootton Bassett Town's youth teams.
And though the Under 18 Blues ultimately wound up collecting runners-up medals, the Under 16 Blues laid their hands on the trophy for the second season in a row.
Both finals were closely fought, with the Youth Cup showpiece involving the Under 18s requiring penalties to determine a winner.
For the Under 16 Blues, Luca Robinson's 77th minute goal ensured extra time was not needed.
He struck, racing onto a clever dink over the top before poking beyond the advancing Chippenham Town Youth 'keeper to seal a 1-0 victory for Bassett.
Defences were largely on top throughout an edgy affair. Bassett did have to take the lead before half time when awarded a penalty, but a fine save from the Chippenham 'keeper preserved parity.
Robinson's late goal means Bassett can continue to dream of a treble. Along with the Under 18 and 15 Blues, they face a North Wilts League Cup semi final next week, and can still overhaul Division One leaders Cirencester Town Centurions if they win their games in hand in the league.
Meanwhile, the Under 18 Blues took holders Chippenham Town all the way. However, after neither side was able to break the deadlock after 120 nerve-wracking minutes of football, Chippenham took the spoils as they triumphed 5-4 on penalties.
Playing against a side top of the Somerset Youth Floodlit League Central Division and containing a number of players who have featured for Chippenham Park in Western League Division One this season, Bassett - North Wilts League Division One leaders - were always going to be underdogs.
But they rose to the occasion, battling bravely and coming close to becoming the first Bassett team to lay their hands on the Youth Cup.
Yet, ultimately they would be thwarted in that aim, losing in the cruellest of circumstances.
Still, with a North Wilts League Cup semi final to come as well as their sights firmly set on the Division One title, there is plenty left for the team to play for.
North Wilts League
In North Wilts League action, the Under 16 Yellows finished their campaign on a winning note and climbed from sixth to third place in the final Division Two standings.
They defeated FC Chippenham Youth 3-2, claiming victory thanks to goals from Kieren Kirby, Tom Warren and Cameron Wootten.
In Division One, the Under 15 Blues edged closer to wrapping up runners-up spot with a 4-0 triumph away against Lydiard Youth Blue in their penultimate fixture. Harry Farrow, Marcel Lewis, Otis Lewis and Kevin Prouse found the net for Bassett.
The Under 18 Yellows were also victorious. Luke Saunders' brace and a Joe Mitchell secured a 3-1 win against Cirencester Town that takes Bassett into third with two games left.
Elsewhere, the Under 12 Blues slipped to a 3-1 defeat away against Highworth Town Juniors J, the Under 12 Yellows came up just short, losing 5-3 in an eight-goal thriller against Greenmeadow Youth and the Under 14 Blues were seen off 5-0 by Swindon Supermarine.