P Clegg (2), G Ashford
Bassett Town came through 3-0 winners seeing off Wilts Premier Division high-flyers Cricklade Town. Compared to Bassett's recent performances this was a below par showing but at least the right result was achieved.
Bassett were missing a number of first team regulars in the side due partially to armed forces commitments. This allowed Bassett to once again give First Team starts to youngsters Steve Yeardley and Ben Gascoyne, as well as having new signing Carl Marsh on the bench.
Bassett began the game looking like they would overwhelm their County League opponents and took the lead as early as the 3rd minute, when Paul Clegg latched onto a Ben Gascoyne ball and slotted home. Bassett continued to attack and had a couple of half chances which were dealt with comfortably by Andy Robbins in the Cricklade goal.
Cricklade got behind the Bassett defence for the first time in the 29th minute when Ian Curtis missed an easy chance after good build-up play by Craig Tonkin and Paul Corcoran.
Bassett had already made a couple of defensive errors in the first half and were on the back foot again a minute later when Ian Curtis hit the bar from a Jon Dixon corner. A couple of minutes later Bassett's defence was caught napping yet again when Paul Corcoran missed a one-on-one chance against Bassett 'keeper Rich Stevens.
Cricklade continued to have the majority of the play as they sought to get back into the game and Rich Stevens was easily the busier of the two keepers in the first half.
Against the run of play a Gary Ashford shot went just over from the edge of the box five minutes before the break as Bassett finally put in an attack of note.
There was still time for another Cricklade chance three minutes later when a Charlton shot went just past the post for a goal kick.
Bassett went into the break a goal up but could easily have trailed 3-1 based on the balance of play and chances created.
Cricklade came out fighting once again in the second half and they troubled Bassett five minutes after the restart when a Jon Dixon shot from just inside the box was well saved by Rich Stevens.
Bassett got back on the front foot after that and in the 56th minute Ben Gascoyne hit the woodwork from a header. Bassett made their first change three minutes later when Danny Clayton was replaced by Mark Hammond.
Hammond added some new creativity to the Bassett midfield and they scored a second goal in the 65th minute when Paul Clegg put away a Gary Ashford ball after a great Ben Gascoyne run.
Gary Ashford had a chance of his own four minutes later when his shot was saved after another good piece of work by Ben Gascoyne.
Bassett brought two-goal Paul Clegg off in the 70th minute; his replacement being Neil Bridges. Bridges nearly made an immediate impact on the game when he put in a telling cross from the left wing but in the end it was comfortably dealt with by Andy Robbins in the Cricklade goal.
Bridges had another great chance for Bassett in the 76th minute when he was clean through one-on-one with Andy Robbins but somehow he allowed the keeper to save his shot when it looked certain that another goal would result.
Bassett made their final change two minutes later bringing Justin "Ruud van Nistelrooy" Hyde on for Ben Gascoyne.
Bassett got their third in the 87th minute when Gary Ashford blasted home from the edge of the box.
Bassett came through with the win in the end although it wasn't an easy ride. Credit to Cricklade for the way they played, they certainly did not deserve to lose 3-0 and at times looked the better footballing side.
Manager's Man of the Match: Paul Clegg
Scoop's Man of the Match: Ben Gascoyne – played well all game creating two goals and challenging Cricklade's defence with some good link-up play.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – Not Bassett's best performance as some of the defending was sloppy and some of the finishing poor.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Wednesday 2nd September 2020 at 10:02
P Clegg (2), G Ashford