A second half goal from Supporters' Player of the Month CJ O'Connell grabbed Bassett a point in the final game of the season at Rylands Way against Almondsbury Town. The visitors were reduced to ten men late in the match after taking the lead through a Matt Berry goal.
Bassett bowed out on a good note although Almondsbury are below Bassett. Neither team played good football at the start of the game as both teams gave the ball away far too many times.
Geoff Swatton had a good chance for Bassett in the fourth minute when a eighteen yard effort of his was deflected after good work by Ben Gascoyne. In the next minute, Mick Byrne hit a CJ O'Connell corner wide from ten yards out.
Bassett had these chances, but Almondsbury were the more aggressive team which led to chances for them. In the sixteenth minute, Justin Bishop and Matt Berry were nearly allowed a clear cut chance on goal as Mick Byrne and Bassett 'keeper Jason Hillier collided but Steve Howse cleared the ball away for Bassett.
Bassett had a good chance a minute later following a counter attack as Geoff Swatton got in the way of Almondsbury 'keeper Gary Bloodworth's clearance.
Swatton looked the most potent striker out on the pitch and came close five minutes later when a shot from the edge of the area was saved by Bloodworth who parried but there was no follow up by Bassett and Almondsbury were let off. Two minutes later, Matt Berry had a chance for the visitors but he volleyed wide when he was totally unmarked.
Both teams continued to attack, but to no avail as in the twenty-eighth minute a good looking Gary Ashford cross was dealt with by Bloodworth. Bassett had Stu Hemsley booked in the 31st minute for kicking out at an Almondsbury midfielder closing down on goal.
Two minutes later Geoff Swatton was booked for dissent after being tripped – referee Phillip Trask was beginning to become inconsistent with his decisions giving most against Bassett.
Bassett were let off four minutes from half time when Carl Rutter headed a Craig Davidge throw-in against the bar but Bassett cleared the danger away. A minute later Justin Bishop hit just over from twenty-five yards before another Davidge throw-in lead to a good chance for Almondsbury as Chris Langham's shot was cleared.
At the other end, Mark Simpkins came close as Gary Bloodworth spilt a Simpkins thirty yard free kick. Another Bassett free kick troubled Bloodworth this time in the sixth minute of injury time when a CJ O'Connell free kick bobbled up just before Bloodworth and he was only able to get a fist to it and put it wide for a Bassett corner.
The break arrived with neither team breaking the deadlock with both teams having had few distinctive chances.
Bassett began the second half again coming close from a free kick when Mark Simpkins hit the cross bar from thirty yards out in the 51st minute. Simpkins came close again from another free kick in the 56th minute when this time he hit the post from twenty-five yards out.
Three minutes later, Almondsbury should have taken the lead when Justin Bishop hit over from six yards out, having been put through one-on-one with Jason Hillier after a free kick which the Bassett defence watched go over their heads.
Alex Stocker had a header go just over in the 61st minute – although Jason Hillier tipped it over, a goal kick was given. Geoff Swatton had a twenty-five yard effort saved in the 63rd minute.
In the 67th minute Almondsbury finally had a player booked after much physical play when Alex Stocker was booked for a vicious looking foul on Damon Sefton. A minute later, Matt Berry hit over from the edge of the area.
The deadlock was finally broken when Berry found the back of the net four minutes later when he scored from a second header after he hit the bar with the first – Justin Bishop put the cross in for him. A bad referee's decision led to the goal as Gary Ashford was fouled but the ref gave the decision the other way and Almondsbury were able to take a quick free kick.
Almondsbury had another player booked on the hour mark when Jeff Headington had his name put into the book for a foul on Ben Gascoyne which evolved into a small fracas.
Bassett brought Neil Bridges on for Mick Byrne on 63 minutes before Justin Bishop had a shot saved for Almondsbury after a Steve Howse mistake. Bridges came close a minute later when he hit wide from the edge of the area.
Bridges ended up creating the Bassett equaliser in the 82nd minute when he sent a superb fifty yard ball through to CJ O'Connell who buried the ball into the far corner of the Almondsbury net to finish off a great move. Bridges then called to the bench, 'Start me next time!' to round it all off.
Bassett made their second change with five minutes to go bringing Gary Ashford off and Mark Hammond on. Geoff Swatton had two decent chances within two minutes of each other as first he forced a great save from Gary Bloodworth after taking two on and striking the ball from twenty-five yards. Next, he hit the side netting from an over hit CJ O'Connell corner.
Both teams began pressing for the winner put it didn't come even though seven minutes of added time were played.
In stoppage time, however, Almondsbury were reduced to ten men when Jeff Headington was given his marching orders for time wasting.
Bassett had the final chance of the game a minute later when Geoff Swatton headed a Mark Simpkins free kick over.
Bassett ended the game with a well deserved point against an aggressive Almondsbury side.
Manager's Man of the Match: Stu Hemsley for his overall performance although CJ O'Connell had a super second half.
Scoop's Man of the Match: CJ O'Connell – a clinical finish followed by winning the Barmy Army Player of the Month. Neil Bridges had a great run though after he came on.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 – A solid performance by Bassett – in the end they got what they deserved – a draw.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Wednesday 2nd September 2020 at 14:44