R Day, B Gascoyne
This match was always going to be a tough game for Bassett against an inform Hook Norton, the two sides having drawn earlier in the season at Banbury. Bassett made a couple of changes from last Tuesday's victory over Brackley Town, bringing Mark Vaughan, Ben Gascoyne and Steve Yeardley into the side; all three of them starting on the bench.
Bassett started the match off the stronger of the two sides and took the lead in the 6th minute when a Gary Ashford free kick was whipped into the box from the right wing and Rob Day got his head to the ball, which flew past Steve Bates in the Hook Norton goal.
Bassett continued to play good football in the final third of the pitch and in the 9th minute good work by Nick Tooley down the left set up Gary Ashford, but unfortunately for Bassett his shot was saved.
Hook Norton's first chance came eight minutes later when a Jody McKay cross flew across the Bassett goal only for no connection to be made with it in the box, an escape for Bassett.
Rob Day then had a good chance for Bassett in the 18th minute when he was one-on-one with the 'keeper but the best he was able to get out of the situation was a corner after yet more good work by Nick Tooley. Mark Simpkins had a double chance from the resulting corner as Gary Ashford's corner was cleared only to the edge of the box where Simpkins blasted over from his second shot.
In the 25th minute, Hook Norton had a great chance when Russell Wilkins headed a Chris Jackson free kick on and Jody McKay connected with the flick-on but his diving header went just over.
Hook Norton equalised a minute later when bad defending by Bassett allowed Ben Spiero to score from a Jody McKay ball.
Bassett continued to be pressurised by their opponents and in the 31st minute Paul Carson averted a definite Hook Norton goal when he headed over his own crossbar to put the ball out for a corner.
Ben Spiero created more chances for Hook Norton before in the 42nd minute he himself scored again after capitalising on more bad Bassett Town defending. Bassett went into the break a goal down after a tight first half.
Bassett started the second half where they didn't want to be – on the back foot. A Ben Spiero ball in the first minute of the half tested the Bassett defence but nothing came of it.
Two minutes later Jody McKay shot wide for Hook Norton before in the 57th minute Steve Hale made a spectacular save as a quick Ben Spiero free kick forced Hale to make a leaping dive to his right to save the ball.
Mark Simpkins was booked for a late foul a minute later after he anticipated the ball arriving a moment too late.
Hook Norton added their third in the 61st minute when Ben Milner scored after he intercepted a poor Steve Hale goal kick.
Bassett made a double substitution in the 65th minute when Dave Jones and Gary Ashford were replaced by Ben Gascoyne and Mark Vaughan.
Bassett allowed Hook to get their fourth in the 71st minute when Ben Spiero grabbed his hat trick after he headed a Karlton Stratford cross; again Bassett's defence was at sixes and sevens.
Bassett started to push for a goal and in the 73rd minute Rob Day hit a 25-yard shot straight at Steve Bates. Nick Tooley then had a chance for Bassett when he chipped his shot over Steve Bates and, unluckily, the crossbar.
Both teams made substitutions as Bassett brought Steve Yeardley – who was making his Hellenic League debut – on for Mark Simpkins and Hook Norton brought Garnet Thomas on for Jason Bedford.
Hook Norton made their second change five minutes before time when Russell Wilkins was replaced by Richard Northover before Ben Gascoyne grabbed Bassett a late consolation goal in the 87th minute when he coolly slotted home after rounding Hook Norton 'keeper Steve Bates.
That late goal was the last action of a game that the Bassett players, particularly the defence, should quickly forget.
Manager's Man of the Match: Nick Tooley
Scoop's Man of the Match: Nick Tooley – he battled hard all game and looked promising.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – Poor defending cost Bassett the points.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Wednesday 2nd September 2020 at 09:54
R Day, B Gascoyne