G Ashford, S Woodman
Wootton Bassett Town's first game of the season pitted them against last year's runners-up Gloucester United. Both sides had a string of new faces meaning this game could've gone either way but two first half goals from Bassett sealed a much needed win on the first day.
In the first few minutes both sides were evenly matched with most play being fought out in the midfield; both sides had a couple of wayward chances – Gloucester having the best when they came close from a 2nd minute free-kick.
But in the sixteenth minute a long goal kick from Bassett 'keeper Jason Hillier was flicked on by new signing Neil Bridges allowing Gary Ashford to grab his first goal of the new campaign and his first for Bassett.
The game was still evenly matched with both sides pushing for the second goal of the match. It got a bit rough though when Gloucester's Nick Delves elbowed Bassett's playmaker Neil Bridges leading to a booking for Delves.
Bassett then had three successive corners when Dave Turner came close before Gloucester 'keeper Adam Bennett parried it away.
Mark Temple then came close for Gloucester before Richard Archer (Gloucester) was injured during a collision. There was then a break of about five minutes before Ian Gosling replaced Archer.
Just after play resumed Bassett's Allan Pluckrose (former Aylesbury United) sent in a free-kick which was met with a Steve Woodman header and he made it 2-0 to Bassett.
Bassett continually pushed before the break as Stuart Lamont came close.
In the 42nd minute a fight between Pluckrose and Gloucester's Craig Temple led to the latter being booked. Bassett went into the break leading by two goals to nil.
In the second half Gloucester started off sharply with a string of chances being squandered. Then Bassett replied to the United start when Neil Bridges' cross was headed wide by Gary Ashford.
A couple of minutes later Bassett's Dave Turner was booked as was a Gloucester United player and Turner exchanged fisticuffs.
Five minutes later the Town defence gave Mark Temple (Gloucester) too much time to turn as he drilled a shot from close range past Hillier in the Bassett goal.
Gloucester began searching for an equaliser when in the 63rd minute Nick Delves was sent off for a second bookable offence for United. Then Gloucester's Craig Temple came close from a free-kick leaving Bassett's management team wondering if they would hold on to the victory.
Bassett then made two changes when in the 69th minute Luke Sharps replaced Steve Woodman and in the 75th minute Rob Day came on for Gary Ashford. Bassett got close in the 79th minute when two corners from Dave Turner lead to near misses.
A minute later Jason Hillier's reflexes were tested when a Craig Temple shot forced Hillier into a good save.
In the final minutes Gloucester put Craig Harris on for John Ralph to try and get another goal but all in vain. Bassett held on for a good 2-1 victory.
Managers Man of The Match: Captain Rob Hopkins for his organisation and motivation skills at the back.
Scoop Rating: 8/10 – A decent match to start off the season – and it was a win for Bassett.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Thursday 27th August 2020 at 12:39
G Ashford, S Woodman