A twentieth minute goal from Hook Norton captain Jody McKay was just enough to see off Bassett Town in their season opener clash at Spencer Stadium. Bassett had some decent chances but they all went begging and in the end Bassett left with nothing after a close game against one of the stronger Hellenic Premier League sides.
Bassett had had a good pre-season and were prepared from the off as they challenged Hook in what was a tight first few minutes of the new season. On eleven minutes, a harsh foul awarded against Paul Davis thirty yards out resulted in the first real chance of the match, but Hook captain Jody McKay put the resulting free kick just wide of the post.
Four minutes later, McKay put through Lewis Travers but Travers put the shot over from fifteen yards out. At the other end Bassett had their first chance of the game when top scorer from last campaign, Geoff Swatton, hit a left shot over from twenty five yards out.
Hook Norton's attack were causing all sorts of problems to the Bassett defence and two minutes before the goal, Paul Davis brilliantly cut out a Craig Pearman through ball aimed for McKay. McKay struck with what was to turn out to be the only goal of the game after a mistake from Mark Vaughan allowed a Dean Allen through ball to split the Bassett defence, which McKay found at his feet and he put the ball away clinically.
Nothing seemed to be coming together for Bassett with many decisions going against them and some poor passing not helping their cause. Hook Norton though were getting things together and four minutes from the break, Lewis Travers hit just wide from the edge of the area.
Bassett were first to cause trouble in the second half when on fifty five minutes, Dave Jones â€“ now with added ginger â€“ had a shot from thirty yards spilled by Guy Smith which Swatton nearly latched onto but the Bassett forward couldn't get to the ball quick enough as Smith recovered the ball.
Jones was taken off two minutes later as the fresh legs of John Magani replaced him. In the 62nd minute Swatton came close when an effort from the edge of the box troubled Smith but the Hook Norton 'keeper dealt with it well. This lead to a lot of chances involving the lively Swatton. Two minutes later, a Magani cross found Swatton but he was unable to finish.
Swatton's strike partner, Sam Reason had a one-on-one opportunity go begging after a super long ball from Paul Davis fell at his feet and put him through in the 69th minute.
Bassett started to pile the pressure on Hooky but couldn't convert the chances created. In the 76th minute a Danny Clayton cross wasn't connected with in the box. Three minutes later Swatton couldn't convert again as new signing Lee Morse put him through but Swatton took one touch too many and the ball was taken off him.
Bassett made a double switch with nine minutes remaining when Rob Hopkins and debutant Garfield Leask were brought on to replace Mark Simpkins and Richard Gee. A minute after the change and Bassett were back on the offensive as Clayton, Reason and Swatton connected but again Swatton's touch faltered him as he lost the ball again on the turn but Bassett gained a corner which Leask headed over. A minute later Davis came close as he headed a well struck Lee Morse free kick wide.
Hook Norton then had a brilliant chance as Bassett were caught on the break five minutes from time but they were let off as the ball cannoned off the bar.
Bassett continued to make last gasp efforts to level the game up but Mark Vaughan, Geoff Swatton or Danny Clayton could finish off their late efforts.
Manager's Man of the Match â€“ Paul Davis
Scoop's Man of the Match â€“ Paul Davis â€“ brilliant all game and great in the air.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 â€“ A better second half but it wasn't going to be as Bassett just couldn't finish. If the chances were taken Bassett would have won.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Thursday 3rd September 2020 at 08:50