Monday 27th September 2021
Royal Wootton Bassett Town have been handed a home tie against Downton in the Buildbase FA Vase first round. The tie is due to take place at the Gerard Buxton Sports Ground on Saturday 23 October.
Victories against Knaphill and Portishead Town have seen Bassett progress through the competition's qualifying rounds for the first time ever in consecutive seasons. And now Sam Collier's side have their eyes on (at the very least) equalling the club's record Vase run, which a win over Downton will achieve.
However, to reach the second round – the stage at which they were eliminated last year – Bassett will have to again avoid being the victims of an upset against step six opposition.
Downton, who ply their trade in Wessex League Division One, reached the first round courtesy of a 2-1 away win against league rivals Ringwood Town. They previously had a bye in the first qualifying round.
So far, they have enjoyed a solid start to their season on all fronts. In the league they have registered four wins, two draws and two defeats from their opening eight fixtures, while, in addition to their Vase success, they have made it through to the Wiltshire Senior Cup quarter finals and the Wessex League Cup last sixteen.
In the Vase, Downton will now be aiming to reach the second round for the first time since 2012-13. That season the Robins advanced to the third round – their best performance in the competition, having also reached the second round in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Although notionally county rivals, there have been very few previous competitive meetings between Bassett and Downton. Indeed, the teams have met just twice before in the Wiltshire Senior Cup.
The first encounter was in 1973-74 when Bassett triumphed 3-0 in the Senior Cup opening round before Downton prevailed 1-0 in a second round tie in 1992-93. The teams should also have faced each other in the 1963-64 county competition. However, Bassett were unable to raise a side for that away fixture.
There will be no such issues this time around though as Bassett and Downton face off in a national competition.
And it's set to be an entertaining Vase tie, which both clubs are looking forward to.
Royal Wootton Bassett Town's complete history in the FA Vase is available to view here.Last modified on Monday 27th September 2021 at 14:43.