M Bennett, B Gascoyne, J Magani
Ben Gascoyne, John Magani and Matt Bennett were on target as Bassett overcame Didcot 3-1 in a game Didcot were supposed to win. John Magani was a potent force throughout as he played a part in all three of Bassett's goals in a tight and, at times, rough dogfight at the Loop Meadow Stadium.
Bassett were one-nil down though inside the first three minutes as a short corner into the back post was played back across to the Didcot scoring machine that is Ian Concannon (118 goals in 102 appearances for Didcot says it all) fired home after the Bassett defence was outnumbered at the back. On nine minutes Concannon was involved in another Didcot chance as he received a ball from Damien Oglesby and put through Chris Dore. The shot from Dore though was too weak and Paul Davis was there to clear the ball away for Darren Curtis who had been rounded by Dore.
After their slow start, Bassett came close as Matt Bennett, Lee Morse and John Magani combined to put through Ben Gascoyne, but Gascoyne could only hit his shot wide in the twenty first minute. Things began to get very physical though as five minutes later, Mark Vaughan was booked for kicking out at Chris Dore after Dore had already lashed out at Paul Davis after Davis' foul.
On 28 minutes Dore had a shot easily saved by Darren Curtis before Davis got a caution for a mini fracas with Dore.
Eight minutes from the break and Bassett were back in the game though as a great ball from John Magani was latched onto by the pace of Ben Gascoyne who in turn put the ball home past a helpless Keith McLoughlin in the Didcot goal. Bassett had been threatening for the last ten minutes and the goal came as no surprise.
Didcot had one last chance of the first half when Oglesby hit over from thirty five yards before Bassett were forced to make a change bringing Mark Simpkins on for the injured Tony Macek who had clashed heads with Didcot's Andy Cooper earlier in the half. Bassett went into the half holding Didcot to a point after a good display led by the inspiration of Rob Hopkins who did a great job keeping Bassett calm in the heat of the action.
The start of the second half was exactly the opposite of the first with Bassett dominating. In the 48th minute, a deep Ben Gascoyne throw was headed wide by Paul Davis. A minute later and Bassett were ahead. John Magani twisted and turned his way through the static Didcot defence and coolly slotted past McLoughlin to make it 2-1 to the underdogs.
Dore was troubling Bassett again and in the 65th minute, Darren Curtis was forced to pull off another great save tipping a great header from Dore wide.
A minute later and Bassett were back on the attack when Ben Gascoyne played John Magani through but Andy Parrot deflected Magani's shot past the post.
Curtis was forced to make another brilliant save to keep Bassett's lead when in the 68th minute a Parrot header forced Curtis into the save after a Concannon corner. Concannon came close three minutes later when he headed the ball into the ground and the ball bounced over the crossbar.
Bassett made another change in the 76th minute when Dave Jones came on to replace Ben Gascoyne. Keith McLoughlin denied Carl Taylor minutes later when he was one-on-one with the Didcot 'keeper but the ball was taken away from Taylor's feet.
Five minutes from time Ian Concannon hit a volley just over after beating the offside trap. Didcot continued to threaten Bassett after this but were unable to get the important equaliser.
Meanwhile, Bassett had two more chances before the defining point of the game. Two minutes after Concannon nearly scored for the home side, Matt Bennett had his shot from the edge of the area saved after a surging run from the tricky midfielder. Then, right on ninety minutes Bennett put Dave Jones through but Jones' shot was saved from ten yards.
Two minutes into stoppage time came the defining moment as John Magani put Matt Bennett through after another great run from Magani and Bennett just had to tap home from ten yards to seal Bassett's unlikely victory.
This comes off a great performance home to North Leigh holding the champions to nil-nil. Four points out of six in two of the toughest games was well deserved after some encouraging performances from Yeardley's boys.
Managers Man of the Match: Darren Curtis and Carl Taylor
Scoop's Man of the Match – John Magani and Matt Bennett – great performances by both. Both have been an instrumental part of Bassett surge up the table.
Scoop Rating: 10/10 – A fantastic performance from start to finish to gain all three points against one of the main contenders.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Wednesday 2nd September 2020 at 08:31
M Bennett, B Gascoyne, J Magani