D Jones (2), M Simpkins
Bassett claimed all three points for the first time in six games against Bicester away with a fantastic performance earning them a 3-1 victory thanks to two super goals from Dave Jones and the other from Mark Simpkins. This was also the first time Bassett had scored since they lost 2-1 to Didcot away in mid-February.
Bassett made a lot of changes from Tuesday's excellent draw against Yate, bringing Darren Curtis in goal for Rich Stevens (injury), Ben Jarrett, Danny Clayton, Dave Jones and Dave Turner replaced Steve Yeardley (injury), Tony Macek (family), Mark Vaughan and Geoff Swatton; also Justin Hyde dropped out late due to work commitments leaving Bassett under strength but the team that did play rose to the occasion.
Despite giving Bicester opportunities early on, Bassett were the better team by far. Bicester created the first opening in the third minute when Kevin Peake had a half chance but didn't trouble Darren Curtis. Curtis' first taste of the action came on twelve minutes when he denied Gary Lawton a chance on goal by scooping the ball up from Lawton's feet. Bicester went a goal up on twenty minutes when Rob Hopkins was deemed to handle an Aaron Davies shot in the box. Bassett protested against the decision and in doing so Dave Turner was booked by referee Reading. The spot kick was saved by Curtis but the rebound was easily put away.
The game became quite close but Bassett were knocking on the door of Bicester's goal and they knocked it down in some style on the half hour mark when a corner which wasn't cleared properly by Bicester fell to Dave Jones and Jones thundered the ball into the net off the bar from 30 yards out.
Bassett took the lead five minutes later when the outstanding Neil Bridges put Mark Simpkins through on goal; Simpkins took the ball round Bicester 'keeper James Priestley and Simpkins put the ball away from an acute angle.
Bassett continued to produce chances and came close again a minute after Simpkins made it 2-1 when Brian Kayll headed just wide from a Danny Clayton free kick.
A minute later Bassett came close again when Dave Jones hit a free kick from 25 yards out but the ball came back out after hitting the corner of the crossbar.
Bassett continued to be dominant before half time but Bicester had one last half chance two minutes into stoppage time when Graham Edney hit well wide from the edge of the area.
The second half was to be a more aggressive affair with certain fouls not being penalised and the ref becoming inconsistent.
Bicester had the first chance of the half when Danny Bone was denied by a great save from debutant Darren Curtis. Bassett had a second player booked on 56 minutes when Ben Gascoyne was booked for a supposed foul on Michael Simpson. The card should have gone the other way though as Simpson kicked out at Gascoyne and then got him in a headlock. The Bassett management team were far from amused over the decision. Bassett's only change came two minutes later when youngster Ben Jarrett replaced Ben Gascoyne.
Bassett made it 3-1 on the hour mark when Dave Jones blasted a shot over James Priestley's head from the edge of the area – another quality finish from the consistently good Jones.
Bassett could have made it four in the 66th minute when Neil Bridges and Ben Jarrett both had chances but the ball was cleared off the line on both occasions.
Bicester began to push and shove Bassett around because they couldn't help being beaten by the pace of Neil Bridges and Ben Jarrett.
Bassett could have had four penalties due to Craig Blake pulling Neil Bridges back when the frustrated Bridges had opportunities to get one-on-one with James Priestley in the Bicester goal.
Bridges came close in the 71st minute when he hit just wide from twelve yards. Mark Simpkins came close two minutes later when he had a free kick saved from 25 yards.
Bicester then made a double change to try and get themselves back in the game but Bassett continued to attack.
Ben Jarrett came close for Bassett nine minutes from time when a Mark Simpkins throw fell to Dave Jones who put the ball in for Jarrett but Jarrett hit over from the edge of the area.
Bicester then had a chance on 85 minutes when substitute Chris Please hit the crossbar from just inside the area, Kevin Peake then followed the shot up but he headed the ball wide of an open goal.
The final action of the game came two minutes into injury time when Danny Bone was booked for a foul on Dave Jones – the challenge though wasn't worthy of a booking although some of Bicester's previous challenges were worthy of bookings or worse.
Bassett came away with a win in this all important match with only fifteen games left in the season they don't want to be involved in a relegation scrap. Bassett are looking for three more points on Tuesday when they travel to local rivals Highworth looking to turn over their recent 2-0 defeat to them.
Manager's Man of the Match: Neil Bridges
Scoop's Man of the Match: Neil Bridges – deserved to be Man of the Match an outstanding amount of effort put in attack. Was worthy of a goal all game but couldn't manage to put the ball into the back of the net. A great game right from the start.
Scoop Rating: 8/10 – A shaky start by Bassett but they battled their way back into the game brilliantly. A superb team performance.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Wednesday 2nd September 2020 at 11:26
D Jones (2), M Simpkins