A spirited performance from Bassett went without reward as they fell to a 3-1 home defeat to second place Carterton. Three quality finishes from Carterton was the difference between the sides with Bassett's only response being a Nick Tooley effort.
Praise must go to Tooley, Tony Macek, Chris O'Connell, Ben Gascoyne and Dave Turner for their efforts against one of the best sides in the league, but on the night it was not enough.
Trying to bounce back from a disastrous home defeat one week ago against Wantage Town, Bassett started the game without many key players in Stu Lamont, Dave Jones, Brian Kayll, Rob Hopkins, Allan Pluckrose and Geoff Swatton; Bassett being forced to field a younger side.
In fairness, the side picked played well and in the fifth minute of the game Mark Hammond was close to giving Nick Tooley a chance on goal but for the Carterton defence to clear the ball away.
Carterton had a chance at the other end in the 13th minute when a Kevin Lewis shot from 20 yards was easily collected by Bassett 'keeper Jason Hillier.
Neither team dominated the opening proceedings, but Carterton had the most clear cut chances of the two teams. On the quarter of an hour mark an unmarked Dave Hamill shot at Hillier but Hillier saved the effort from just inside the box. In the same minute Carterton got the ball back from their own half and Mark Threlfall had ten yards of space to run into ahead of him and he took a chance as he blasted a shot from 35 yards out which screamed past Jason Hillier who had no chance to put Carterton a goal up.
A minute later, Carterton were still on the attack and again Dave Hamill was left unmarked in the box again and scorer Threlfall put Hamill through but Hamill hit over from ten yards out. Carterton continued to have many half chances but the Bassett defence handled these attacks well especially Mark Simpkins.
A ball over the top from Paul Patel in the twenty-fifth minute put Nick Tooley through one-on-one with Carterton 'keeper Nick Heritage; Tooley took two touches and then poked the ball past Heritage to get Bassett back on level terms.
Tooley had another two chances for Bassett within five minutes of his goal as he came close in the 26th minute when he hit just wide from the edge of the area.
Again it was Tooley in the 29th minute that came close for Bassett when he headed a Chris O'Connell free kick from 30 yards wide. Bassett had Dave Turner booked twelve minutes from time for dissent after protesting against referee Andrew Fleming's decision to award a free kick to Carterton.
Carterton came close to regaining the lead just before the break when Jason Hillier spilt a rifled James Mortimer-Jones shot, luckily for Bassett Mark Vaughan cleared the ball away. Bassett went into the break with the score tied at one apiece.
Two minutes into the second half Carterton again took the lead when a loose corner was crossed in and Dave Hamill hit home unmarked in the area although the ball took a deflection.
Four minutes later in the 51st minute Carterton went two goals up when again poor Bassett defending led to Kevin Lewis scoring from a Dave Hamill cross.
Bassett got their first injury problem of the game in the 58th minute when Nick Tooley picked up a knock and was replaced by Neil Bridges.
Bassett tried to find an opening to get themselves back in the game and Chris O'Connell came close twice in three minutes. First, he hit wide from a half chance after being played through by Ben Gascoyne in the 61st minute. After that Bassett brought Carl Marsh on for Paul Patel who had also picked up a knock.
In the 64th minute O'Connell came close again but his shot was saved after he skipped past two defenders with some nifty Brazilian-like skills. O'Connell again was involved in the midst of the action and twenty minutes from time he whipped in a corner from the left hand side, Neil Bridges who was waiting in the area connected with the ball but he headed wide but earned another corner.
Two minutes later again it was Chris O'Connell who came close for Bassett but his twenty yard free kick was parried and thankfully for Carterton there was no follow up.
Carterton came back on the attack and Jason Hillier was again troubled this time in the 74th minute when he saved a Mark Threlfall volley.
Bassett brought Chris O'Connell off with seven minutes to go replacing him with Ben Jarrett giving Bassett fresh firepower up front as they were in search of two quick goals inside the closing minutes. A minute later another Bassett player got in the book this time it was Ben Gascoyne who was booked for a foul.
Bassett couldn't find the two goals they needed but came away with a performance that showed promise although the scoreline was a bit cruel to them. Bassett lacked what Carterton had in the final third of the pitch – a consistent goalscorer - and also were beaten by a stronger side that are pushing for the title behind frontrunners North Leigh.
Manager's Man of the Match: Tony Macek
Scoop's Man of the Match: Tony Macek – played consistently all game and was solid as a rock in the centre of midfield.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 – Bassett were beaten by the better team but showed promise. Bassett just lacked in the final third.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Wednesday 2nd September 2020 at 14:37