A fifty seventh minute header from Geoff Swatton sealed Bassett's first points of the year as they scraped a one-nil victory against Almondsbury Town in the first home game of the campaign.
Bassett started quickly and in the first minute, Geoff Swatton tested Almondsbury 'keeper Tom Shepherd but Shepherd pulled off a fine save to deny the Bassett striker. A minute later, and Swatton was again testing the Almondsbury defence as he hit just wide from the edge of the area.
Young Matty Bennett combined with Swatton and his strike partner John Magani on five minutes earning Bassett a corner but the corner was headed just over.
Neither team created much until the twentieth minute when, again, it was Bassett who came close as poor defending from Anthony Haskins allowed John Magani a one-on-one opportunity with Tom Shepherd but Shepherd denied the eager Magani. Two minutes later, and Bassett's very own Cristiano Ronaldo – Matty Bennett – came close as Bennett hit just wide from twenty yards.
Bennett again came close moments after when he hit just wide after great work by John Magani down the wing.
At the other end, Rich Stevens was brought into the action for the first time when he had to pull off a good save after the Bassett defence backed off. John Magani was nearly in with another good opportunity on thirty eight minutes when he just couldn't reach a super Lee Morse ball.
Stevens was forced into action again just before the break when he tipped a shot from the edge of the area just past the post with a one handed save.
The second half was delayed for a while as referee Simon Maynard of Lower Earley, Reading was taken ill and a substitute linesman had to be found due to this, both teams had to keep warm as they were already on the pitch before this strange occurrence.
Almondsbury had the first chance of the second half when Tom Knight had a free kick saved by Rich Stevens in the Bassett goal.
Mark Vaughan hit just over for Bassett from thirty yards in the 55th minute, two minutes before a whipped in Danny Clayton cross from the left was brilliantly headed home by Geoff Swatton to give Bassett their first goal of the new campaign.
In the 61st minute Almondsbury substitute Justin Cattle hit just over from the edge of the area. Rob Hopkins came close for Bassett four minutes later when he smacked wide a John Magani ball.
Bassett continued to dominate but Almondsbury began to create some threatening chances. Fifteen minutes from time and Geoff Swatton headed a Lee Morse corner from the right just wide. Swatton came close again moments later when he drilled a twenty five yard free kick right at Tom Shepherd.
Bassett were caught unawares at the back in the 78th minute when Matt Bennett played Craig Davidge onside, Davidge took the ball around Rich Stevens but his shot was too weak as Bennett recovered to clear the ball away. At the other end, Swatton continued to threaten and six minutes from the final whistle he curled a left shot wide from twenty yards.
Bassett brought a tired John Magani off a minute later after he worked his socks off in a superb effort and replaced him with Neil Bridges.
On 89 minutes Matt Bennett put Geoff Swatton through again but another stunning save from Almondsbury 'keeper Tom Shepherd denied Swatton a second. In injury time Swatton blasted over after a short corner worked by Bennett and Lee Morse fell at Swatton's feet. Bassett now have two very tough games ahead as they face champions North Leigh at home and then goal happy Ian Concannon's Didcot away on bank holiday Monday.
Manager's Man of the Match – Rich Willis
Scoop's Man of the Match – John Magani – a stunning effort from the youngster – strong, commanding and a real workhorse upfront.
Scoop Rating: 9/10 – A superb game for both teams – fast and with little stoppages; a challenge all the way for Bassett to hold onto their lead.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Thursday 3rd September 2020 at 08:49