Playoff semi final preview: Bassett set for derby duel

Monday 15th April 2024

The derby stakes Royal Wootton Bassett Town and Highworth Town have rarely been higher: the winner of Wednesday's Hellenic League Premier Division playoff semi final meeting at the Save On Tyres Stadium moves on to the final and a shot at promotion to the Southern League, the loser sees their otherwise successful season come to an abrupt end.

It promises therefore to be a thrilling, full-blooded contest between two quality sides, both of who will be desperate to continue their season at the expense of a rival.

The match represents the fourth contest between the teams this season. While Bassett came out on top on penalties in a Wiltshire Premier Shield quarter final clash following an eventful 2-2 draw in December, the Worthians had the upper hand in their two league regular season meetings.

On the August Bank Holiday weekend, Highworth scraped a 1-0 win in an otherwise even contest at the Save On Tyres Stadium. Then just after Christmas, the Worthians came from 1-0 down to comfortably triumph 3-1 at the Sustain Stadium.

Indeed, those results continued a trend of Highworth league dominance over. Bassett have recorded just two wins in their last 14 league games against Highworth, with one draw and the other eleven games all ending in defeat. Overall, 36 Hellenic League meetings have yielded 23 wins for Highworth compared to 11 for Bassett, with just the single draw.

But that rather ugly record will all be forgotten if Sam Collier and his team can come out on top in their playoff and move a step closer to a first ever promotion to the Southern League.

Having suffered relegation last season after losing a step four-five promotion-relegation playoff against Malvern Town, the Worthians will be fired up as they look to seize their chance to jump straight back up to a level at which they plied their trade for five seasons.

Both teams will therefore be giving it everything they have got. This is a derby you don't want to miss.

So please do make the journey across Swindon to cheer Bassett on in what is a huge occasion for the club.

Up the Bass.

Last modified on Tuesday 16th April 2024 at 00:19.