In a fiercely competitive game at Rylands Way on Saturday, Wootton Bassett just managed to keep their unbeaten record intact, with an equaliser five minutes from time by Vines. On a pitch which played quite superbly considering the amount of rain which has fallen recently, these two title contenders had been locked in battle through a goalless first half. Ferndale who were playing with slope and wind, opened the game very positively and were obviously extremely psyched up for this encounter. Playing their football from the back they made the most of the natural advantages and Rees, in the Bassett goal, had to be alert, coming out quickly to deny the Ferndale forwards more than once. Under this pressure Bassett displayed their defensive qualities, the back four all looking solid. However, it was not all Bassett defence, indeed several times they broke quickly and caused problems for Ferndale. An early blow for Bassett was the substitution of Damon York, with a badly bruised shinbone, replaced by Mick Karn.
The second half saw Bassett gain control of the game, early pressure forcing a number of corners. Just as it seemed Bassett had the upper hand, Ferndale scored, with 55 minutes gone, through Freeth from a smartly taken free-kick by Slattery. This signalled Bassett's worst period of the game when some of their players seemed to lack the heart of the fight for an equaliser. Gradually the attitude improved, and heads lifted and the last 20 minutes saw continued pressure on the Ferndale goal. Bassett should have equalised with 10 minutes remaining when Ian Johns, just back from a ligament injury, broke through only to see his shot come off the inside of the post and out. Moments later Harrison's fierce left foot drive went just wide and the Bassett faithful were beginning to think it must be one of those days. Then came that goal from Vines. Frost played a short corner with Hanrahan and his cross found a leaping Vines whose fine header down into the corner did the rest. Next week it's another difficult league fixture for Bassett when they travel to Salisbury to face the current league leaders Old Manor. The week after (February 20) sees Bassett in the semi-final of the Wiltshire Senior Cup against Bromham at Calne Town's ground. Kick-off 2pm, all supporters welcome.
Credit: Paul Harrison
Last modified on Sunday 15th November 2020 at 20:22