An early goal from Rich Willis wasn't enough for Wootton Bassett Town as they crashed to a heavy 4-1 defeat at local rivals Highworth who had a little help from some controversial officiating as two Highworth goals came from what appeared to be incorrect decisions.
Willis pounced in the second minute as he slid the ball underneath Paul Haines following a ricocheted John Magani ball.
Gary Hill cancelled out Willis' effort two minutes later as he bundled in a Shaun Terry free kick after the referee Mr D Commander gave the decision the wrong way as a Highworth forward was holding Andy Hallett by the throat. That said, Bassett should have cleared the free kick.
Hallett was then booked in the 18th minute as he held back Matty Saye, as Saye was just about to enter the box.
In the 24th minute, Highworth had another chance this time Terry had an effort from twenty yards comfortably held by Chris Mills.
Two minutes later, Dave Tyler was gifted with a chance at the other end after a long ball from Steve Yeardley but Haines held Tyler's effort from outside the area.
A Yeardley error nearly cost Bassett seventeen minutes from half time as he gave it away in the slippery conditions, and Terry sent a ball across the face of goal and Jamie Mills got a touch at the back post and sent it wide.
John Magani was booked on 33 minutes for a dubious looking foul before both teams had half chances before Magani nearly gave Bassett the lead just before half time.
Magani took the ball round a couple Highworth defenders before striking from the edge of the area, the shot beat Haines but it came back out off the post and across goal.
Seven minutes after the restart, Tyler was on the end of a Willis ball and his shot from the edge of the area went wide and Tyler should have done much better with his effort.
Four minutes later, Bassett shot themselves in the foot allowing Highworth to take the lead when Matt Saye slotted in from Wayne Cleverly's cross, unmarked.
In the 58th minute, Ross Adams came close from a deep free kick but his effort was tipped away by Mills.
Terry struck wide from the edge of the area before Bassett made their first change as they replaced Steve Bunting with Tom Messenger.
Tyler should have levelled the scores in the 64th minute when he played a neat one-two with Magani before striking the ball from fifteen yards but his poor shot went wide of the mark.
Rich Willis was booked for dissent twenty minutes from the end in frustration as the officials continually made poor decisions.
Another mistake by referee Commander killed the game off as Highworth took advantage to make it 3-1.
Commander gave a corner to the home side when it was clear the ball last touched a Highworth player. From the corner, JP Mills whipped the ball in and Saye was on the end of a Mills spill and put the ball away.
In the 66th minute Bassett made a double change as Rich Gee and Ben Gascoyne replaced Lee Morse and Rob Hopkins.
Gascoyne and Saye then had chances to score goals but both were foiled before Gee was booked for dissent eleven minutes from time.
JP Mills then sealed victory in the 83rd minute when he tapped home from a ball put back across goal before at the other end Tyler failed to finish off good work by Magani as Tyler hit wide from another easy position.
Mills made a great save in the 89th minute clearing a Steve Richardson shot off the line with his feet.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Rich Willis – worked hard up front again creating chances and causing problems for the Highworth defence.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – Self-destructed after goal number two but weren't help by dismal officiating.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Friday 11th September 2020 at 09:52