Set piece woe dogs Bassett in FA Cup exit

Royal Wootton Basssett Town were beaten 1-0 by Aylesbury Vale Dynamos in their Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary round replay.

Royal Wootton Bassett Town's vulnerability defending set pieces was again exposed as they fell to a 1-0 Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary round replay defeat away against Aylesbury Vale Dynamos.

Despite enjoying a number of chances and throwing everything they had at Aylesbury in the game's final twenty minutes, the tie was ultimately decided by Terry Griffiths' 23rd minute goal from a Bruno Brito corner, the centre half finding himself unmarked at the far post where he comfortably planted a header past a helpless Declan Lehmann.

For the fourth game in a row to begin the season, Bassett were left to feel a sense of frustration. Dynamos manager Paul Bonham admitted in his programme notes that his side had been fortunate to come away with a draw from the initial fixture on Saturday. But Sam Collier's team passed up opportunities to grab more than the solitary goal they were able to muster on that occasion. And that failure to convert openings came back to haunt them again on their visit to Buckinghamshire.

While evenly matched, it was the visitors who had the better opportunities in the opening exchanges, with Brad Pagliaroli snatching at a Danny Langford cross and Callum Parsons firing straight at James Weatherill after latching onto a Pagliaroli through ball.

But it was ultimately Aylesbury, direct and reliant on set pieces, who made their chance pay.

They did come close three minutes before taking the lead when Alfi Touceda's snap shot took a deflection, forcing Lehmann to quickly adjust his feet and parry wide.

But they would not be denied when Bruno Brito whipped in a towering corner to the far post and Griffiths – one of two home players lurking at the far post to have lost their marker – headed home.

Their lead could well have been two before the break as well when another Brito delivery caused panic in the box. This time the ball fell for Dan Wilson, whose low strike seemed destined for the bottom corner only to be blocked on the line by Mani Roper.

Despite trailing, Bassett's performance remained flat after the restart, as it was the hosts who were playing with greater urgency.

Pagliaroli did force Weatherill to tip over from a curling effort in the 49th minute. But Aylesbury initially appeared the likeliest to score – and extend their lead.

On 51 minutes, Lehmann had difficulty snaring a Brito free kick, but was able to recover to knock the ball away before an Aylesbury player could direct it goalwards.

The Bassett 'keeper then produced an outstanding save to keep out Brito's acrobatic half volley following a Keith Mupfururirwa cross before Brito fluffed his lines when Aylesbury had broke decisively from a Bassett corner.

Finally, the visitors seemed to kick into life – and they were helped by the energy that substitutes Callum Wright and Tony Joyce injected into the game.

On the hour, Langford's blast from the edge of the area after a Gio Wrona corner was only half cleared produced a fine fingertip save from Weatherill to divert the ball over the bar.

The 'keeper then had to punch over a curling Pagliaroli free kick as it sailed towards the top left corner.

A neat move involving Harrison Lea and Parsons set free Langford moments later, but the forward could only drag his shot across the face of goal and wide.

Bassett were then dealt a boost when goalscorer Griffiths received his marching orders for a second bookable offence with quarter of an hour remaining.

The visitors subsequently set up camp inside the Aylesbury half. But the decisive breakthrough was not forthcoming.

Parsons saw a sidefoot effort blocked after a switch of play from Wright and cutback from Pagliaroli had seemingly opened up the home defence. Langford then saw a low rebound effort from a free kick of his that had hit the wall held low on the dive. Finally, with two minutes of time to go, Pagliaroli cut inside from the right only to see his snap shot from an angle rattle the base of the near post.

Chris Jackson was then sent off in the dying stages for a heavy challenge on Joe Fitzgerald that arguably merited a second yellow rather than the straight red he received.

That decision summed up the frustrating nature of Bassett's night though as a cheap, avoidable goal and failure to convert their chances contrived to see them bow out of the FA Cup at the first opportunity.

Man of the Match: Harrison Lea – started the game at right back where he acquitted himself well before moving into a more advanced position from which the youngster's composure on the ball helped contribute towards some of his team's better opportunities in front of goal.

Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Wednesday 14th August 2019 at 06:53