Wootton Bassett TownWBTFC
Bishops Cleeve
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WBTFC Scorers:
B Gascoyne, T Macek

Bassett Win Crucial Six Pointer 2-1 Over Bishops Cleeve

Rylands Way, 8th March 2003

Bassett overcame divisional rivals Bishops Cleeve in a scrappy six pointer thanks to goals from Tony Macek and Ben Gascoyne (with the help of Cleeve 'keeper John Skeen). It was a game where Bassett created many chances but very few were on target.

Go back to Saturday 5th October, a cold day as I recall, Bassett looking to gain points over a Bishops Cleeve side that had started the season strongly with wins under their belt. At this time of the season, Bassett had little to show apart from a few scrappy wins and some heavy defeats against teams that they could have beaten. Bassett went behind early on and as the game developed Bishops Cleeve continued to create chance after chance and found the back of the net in total eight times. The best chance of the game for Bassett fell to Nick Tooley but he didn't find the target. This game left Bassett manager Pete Yeardley feeling very low - every manager in the country whether it be Sir Alex Ferguson or, in this case, Pete would be feeling low after you put so much effort into picking a team you thought would get you three points and they go out and perform like an Under – 8s side. This game was the worst I had seen a Bassett side play since I started reporting – Bassett were abysmal and the normally loyal Barmy Army left after the third goal went in for Cleeve.

The return game at Rylands was to be different to the sides' previous encounter described above. The game did however start in Cleeve's favour as they gained a corner within the first ten seconds of the start – I thought to myself, could this be a case of déjà vu; the game didn't turn out to be though with Bassett being the team on top.

Bassett at once got on the attack and with only eight minutes gone had found the back of the net when Tony Macek neatly put away a Geoff Swatton ball after Macek had ran thirty yards just to get up with play.

Bassett continued to pressure the Cleeve goal and were nearly two up when Geoff Swatton was again involved in the action but his shot was deflected wide for a Bassett corner on eleven minutes.

Five minutes later, Dave Turner tested the Cleeve defence as he sent in a thundering cross but no striker in the danger area capitalized on the ball.

Jason Hillier was first tested in the Bassett goal on nineteen minutes when he easily saved an Ashley McKinnes free kick from twenty-five yards out.

A minute later the busy Geoff Swatton was again involved in the action but failed to hit the target from a wonderful solo run. Swatton had two more chances within two minutes of each other when he nearly headed in a Nick Tooley cross in the 21st minute, then in the 24th minute he failed to complete good work from Dave Turner and Dave Jones as his volley from the edge of the area was saved by Cleeve 'keeper John Skeen.

Bassett had Mark Vaughan booked in the 26th minute for a late tackle just inside his own half.

Bassett continued to push for a second before the break and nearly got it thirteen minutes from the interval when Dave Turner hit the side-netting following an excellent Dave Jones ball. Turner had Neil Bridges, Geoff Swatton and Tony Macek waiting in the box waiting for the cross but Turner decided to go alone.

Tempers began to flare in the match and on 37 minutes a mass brawl erupted after Dave Jones hit wide. The brawl started as a result of Geoff Swatton being stamped on by a member of the Bishops Cleeve defence.

The first half ended with Bassett ahead 1-0 and Bishops Cleeve without their danger man Kevin Slack as he was injured and replaced by Dave Aneyeti.

The second half began on the same note as the first half finished with dangerous tackles flying in and with Bassett on top.

Both Geoff Swatton and Dave Jones came close for Bassett within the first five minutes of the restart – Jones coming closest with a volley similar to the one that gave him his second goal against Bicester Town.

Geoff Swatton was again involved in the action for Bassett in the 52nd minute when he was booked for swearing at Bishop Cleeve manager Paul Colicutt although Colicutt did incite Swatton first. Three minutes later Swatton found himself one-on-one with John Skeen but Skeen closed the angle down well to deny Swatton his first goal of the game following a good ball from Nick Tooley.

Jason Hillier was forced into action for the first time in the second half on 71 minutes when he parried a Daniel Aneyeti shot and Dave Turner completed the clearance for a Bishops Cleeve corner. A minute later Cleeve came close again when Adam Giles nearly put away a Dan Aneyeti ball but Giles just missed.

At this point Bassett made their first change of the match bringing Neil Bridges off and Ben Gascoyne on. Gascoyne got straight into the thick of the action and was fouled by Steve Cleal which earned Cleal a booking on 74 minutes.

Jason Hillier denied Bishops Cleeve an equaliser ten minutes later when he made an excellent save to deny Steve Cleal.

Two minutes from time Bassett went 2-0 up when a bad throw from Cleeve 'keeper John Skeen fell to the feet of Ben Gascoyne and Gascoyne made no mistake in putting the ball away.

Immediately afterwards the ball was in the back of the net again but this time in the back of Bassett's net when Wes Green turned up at the back post to poke the ball home.

Bassett made a change on ninety minutes when Player of the Month Steve Yeardley replaced Nick Tooley. Bishops Cleeve continued to press deep into stoppage time for an equaliser but Bassett came away with three well deserved points.

Manager's Man of the Match: Rob Hopkins – lead by example

Scoop's Man of the Match: Dave Turner – a superb battling performance in midfield

Scoop Rating: 8/10 – A sloppy performance in places, but a very well deserved win to overturn an 8-0 loss earlier on in the season.

Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Wednesday 2nd September 2020 at 11:28

Wootton Bassett TownWBTFC
Bishops Cleeve
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2 ‒ 1
Bishops Cleeve Logo

WBTFC Scorers:
B Gascoyne, T Macek