A 48th minute John Magani proved the difference between Bassett Town and Highworth Town in a memorable derby game. This result meant Highworth continue their skid of poor form after Saturday's 6-0 Vase loss to Gosport Borough.
Neither side dominated the opening proceedings with both defences tight and the ball not getting out the middle of the park. Ian McSherry had the first chance of the game, picking up a Bassett clearance and, seeing that Rich Stevens was off his line McSherry went for a long range effort but hit over.
On ten minutes Magani had a chance at the other end after being played through by Steve Yeardley but Magani hit wide.
Highworth striker Neil Dix hit over at the other end after twenty seven minutes. Two minutes on Jamie Mills received a Dix through ball but shot wide as Rich Stevens did enough to close down Mills.
McSherry was presented with another chance twelve minutes from half time, capitalizing on a Rich Willis slip but his shot didn't trouble Stevens, going wide. A minute into injury time Paul Donnelly was booked for the visitors.
Three minutes into stoppage time Matt Bennett came close for Bassett, after receiving a cross from Willis on the left but Bennett hit just over.
Bassett started the second half quickly grabbing a goal three minutes after the restart. Highworth failed to clear resulting a goalmouth scramble, the ball came out of the group and to John Magani who slotted home to give Bassett the advantage.
Bassett came close to conceding the lead in the 68th minute when substitute Russell Byrne hit the crossbar as the Bassett defence didn't make a challenge.
Four minutes later ex-Highworth player Neil Bridges was brought onto replace Magani. Two minutes after Bridges' introduction Paul Patel was brought on as an extra defender for Matt Bennett.
In the 78th minute Rich Stevens was forced to make another great save, denying Highworth from close range as, again, no challenge came in from the defence.
Bassett broke from the Highworth attack and good link up play between Neil Bridges and Geoff Swatton created a chance for Swatton to cross into Bridges who was just beaten to the ball; if Bridges had got there it would have seen off Highworth and rubbed salt into Highworth's wounds as they were Bridges' former team.
Highworth came close once more in the 89th minute when a great cross was glanced wide by McSherry.
A great battling performance from Bassett, with the midfield working well all night to deny Highworth any room to play. In the programme Editorial it was noted that Bassett would need some miracle to take anything from this game; well, as Errol Brown once said "I believe in Miracles".
A tough visit to North Leigh comes next but if Bassett can keep up their form against the top sides, some points might be there for the taking.
Mick's Man of the Match: Mark Vaughan – solid as a rock in the middle of the park all night
Scoop Rating: 10/10 – The best win of the year bar Didcot away. A great performance by both sides – a true derby game. Bassett fought fire with fire all night.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Friday 4th September 2020 at 15:42