Bassett Town fell to a 2-0 loss away at Fairford as two goals from ex-Bassett star Lee Stoddart won the game for the home side.
With few key players available Bassett stand in manager Barry Giles had a selection headache as before the match in the warm up Mark Simpkins pulled out injured and also Chris O'Connell arrived late.
Bassett gave Steve Howse his first start of the season and he shined at the back and also Mick Byrne featured in a mismatched back four.
The game started with Scoop late by twenty minutes in which no real chances were created and some scrappy passing. This continued, but Fairford looked most likely to break the deadlock and came close in the 27th minute of play when Phil Ward headed a Jeremy Newton free kick from the left hand side over.
Three minutes later Ward was involved in the action when he put Lee Stoddart one-on-one with Jason Hillier in the Bassett goal but Stoddart hit wide. Bassett counter-attacked and Matt Bennett and Gary Ashford combined down the left wing but Ashford's deep cross was cleared away.
Fairford continued to mount pressure on Bassett and Jeremy Newton took on three Bassett defenders but hit the side netting from sixteen yards out.
Bassett were let off in the 38th minute when Jason Hillier spilled a whipped in Jeremy Newton free kick but Hillier collected up his mistake under pressure from oncoming forward Lee Stoddart. A minute later Stoddart laid a perfect ball to Newton but ex-Bassett midfielder Newton hit wide from ten yards out.
Bassett's best chance of the half came five minutes from the break after good play by Paul Patel found striker Nick Tooley in the box, Tooley's shot took a deflection and was comfortably dealt with by James Price for Fairford.
A minute later at the other end a Jeremy Newton free kick was deflected on to the post by Danny Clayton but Jason Hillier dealt with this. Bassett were at sixes and sevens at the back and nearly paid the price on many occasions in a scrappy first half. Luckily, though they held out Stoddart and Gareth Davies – Fairford's strikers – for the first forty-five minutes.
The second half started much like the first finished with scrappy football being played and Fairford looking most threatening.
Against the run of play in the 53rd minute Neil Bridges had a good chance for Bassett from fifteen yards but he rocketed the ball over. Bassett then made their first change of the match when Chris O'Connell replaced Gary Ashford.
Fairford then continued from where they left off and Steve Howse averted danger in the 56th minute for Bassett when he headed clear a brilliant Jeremy Newton corner. It looked as though the Bassett defence would crack at some time and it did in the 65th minute when a Jeremy Newton cross came in, Jason Hillier came to collect the ball but didn't as he was bundled over by Neil Matthews, Lee Stoddart controlled the cross with what looked like his arm and put the ball into an open goal to make it 1-0 to Fairford. Two reasons why the goal should have been disallowed and neither were picked up by referee Hooper.
Bassett had another chance wasted in the 71st minute when Nick Tooley hit wide a Neil Bridges cross from the right.
Bassett just didn't look like scoring on the night due to some poor finishing from the front two – Nick Tooley and Neil Bridges. Bassett just haven't got a consistent goalscorer.
Bassett then made their second change bringing Tony Macek off injured for Mark Hammond.
Fairford continued to look threatening and finally got their second when Captain Lee Stoddart took the ball round Steve Yeardley and Mick Byrne to slot home coolly twelve minutes from time.
Fairford had another decent chance in the 83rd minute when Courtenay Chessell hit wide from the edge of the area. A minute later Stoddart had a header saved well by Hillier.
Two minutes into injury time youngster Matt Bennett put Nick Tooley through one-on-one with James Price but Tooley hit wide an easy chance.
Bassett fell to their second loss to Fairford in a matter of two weeks. Bassett have beaten the drop though which is good news following results going their way the previous Saturday.
Giler's Man of the Match: Steve Howse – solid at the back and he won every header he contested for.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Steve Howse
Scoop Rating: 5/10 – A poor performance by Bassett – they played too defensively, the passing was at times lacklustre and the quality of finishing was again poor.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Wednesday 2nd September 2020 at 14:41