After a disastrous week of cup games, Wootton Bassett Town returned to the league to face league favourites Didcot Town away. Bassett fought well all game and didn't deserve to be kept out all night, as Didcot won 3-0 thanks to their lethal attack.
Lee Flynn kept Didcot from breaking the deadlock early on as Didcot had the majority of possession forcing Bassett back with crisp, short passing.
Flynn had to palm away a 30-yard effort from Fletcher Hoey in the ninth minute, after Hoey was unmarked with a clear view on goal, the stretching Ian Concannon then failed to latch onto the rebound.
Two minutes later a diving Flynn tipped wide a Stuart Beavon shot after the powerful Didcot forward won a ball in the middle and made a darting run before shooting from the edge of the area.
A minute later and Beavon was kept out again by the diving Flynn. This time, Grant Goodall played a sweet pass to Beavon who shot from twenty yards but the Bassett 'keeper tipped the ball wide.
Didcot finally took the lead thanks to a superb through ball to Concannon, catching out Rich Willis. Concannon ran onto the ball and coolly slotted under Flynn from fifteen yards.
Concannon doubled the score three minutes later as he headed in a Beavon cross unmarked.
Beavon was nearly the provider of another goal in the 24th minute when his cross from the right was headed over by Andy Parrott as Bassett started to look a bit shaky at the back.
On the half hour Steve Bunting found Andy Youngsam whose shot from a tight angle went just wide.
Beavon came close seven minutes from the break as Steve Yeardley deflected his shot wide. From the resulting corner, Parrott headed in with Bradley Ward the provider.
A thunderous shot from Glyn Jones in the 44th minute was tipped wide by Flynn who had an impressive opening period keeping the score from becoming that of a cricket match.
Bassett stepped up a gear in the second half and took the game to Didcot, albeit a bit late.
Steve Bunting hit over from 25 yards after Matt Bennett picked him out with an inch perfect ball five minutes after the restart.
Beavon hit wide for Didcot a minute later before Bassett made their first change – Ben Gascoyne for Youngsam.
Six minutes after his arrival, Gascoyne had a shot from the edge of the area deflected and comfortably held by Chris Webb.
Bassett then nearly fell further behind but Beavon's shot was cleared off the line and the follow up from Ward went begging.
Stu Hemsley replaced Andy Hallett on the hour mark to give the side an extra attacking option as Bassett started to put more pressure on the Didcot back three. The game continued to go from end to end with Didcot's fluent passing being blocked by the energetic Bassett midfield led by the superb Bunting.
Dave Tyler replaced Paul Petal twenty minutes from time before Bunting came close with a shot from eighteen yards comfortably held. Bunting then sent a great ball through to Bennett in the 75th minute before Bennett got round three Didcot defenders but his shot one-on-one with Webb was saved.
Bunting had a twenty-yard effort saved five minutes from the end after Bennett squared the ball to him.
A lack of finish in the final third stopped Bassett from being the first team to put a goal past Didcot but a lot of positives can be taken from this outing especially the performances of Yeardley, Bunting, John Magani and Lee Flynn.
Giler's Man of the Match: Steve Yeardley
Scoop's Man of the Match: Steve Bunting – Brought his A game and played superbly. Won everything he went for, came close to scoring and ran Didcot close.
Scoop Rating: 8/10 – A great team performance as Didcot didn't have it easy and the scoreline flattered the home side. The goals came from players turning off at the back. The difference in quality between the two sides also led to the goals.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Friday 11th September 2020 at 09:30