Kevin Slack delivered a fatal blow to Bassett as his 68th minute penalty sent Bassett to a 1-0 defeat against high-flyers Bishops Cleeve. The unusually quiet Slack delivered when needed to, undermining a determined performance from the home side.
Cleeve could have been reduced to ten men inside ten minutes – Mitch Counsell reacted badly to a Geoff Swatton foul and hit and stamped on Swatton but this only merited a yellow card.
Swatton had a good chance on the quarter hour mark as he latched onto a Steve Bunting ball over the top and Swatton's sliding effort bobbled and was then collected by 'keeper Jon Skeen.
Swatton was booked a minute later for a dirty challenge before Bunting put him through again in the 27th minute. This time Swatton fired straight at Skeen who parried the shot wide when Swatton should have buried the effort.
Bassett 'keeper Ian Gill – back for his second spell at the club – denied Slack before the break, saving well from a low struck free kick.
Gill denied Jon Hills four minutes after the restart when Gill palmed away a Hills shot from just outside the area.
A header on from Slack fell into the path of John Veresi on the hour mark but Veresi blasted over on the half hour.
In the 65th minute, Bassett cleared a Richard Clark effort off the line after Gill was caught out three minutes before Slack struck.
Stu Hemsley tripped Hills inside the area after Hills had beat him and Slack duly stepped up and sent Gill the wrong way.
Eighteen minutes from time, Dave Tyler headed inches over from a Swatton free kick as Tyler continued his poor run in front of goal and he knew he should have done better here.
Wes Green and Nick Williams both failed to trouble the scoresheet for Cleeve as Green blasted over and Gill held a Williams effort before Cleeve could have sown the match up.
Veresi was put through following some poor defending and slotted the ball past Gill but it went wide.
Ten minutes from the end, Jon Magani and Chris Mills replaced Tom Messenger and Steve Yeardley.
Williams then had a shot brilliantly saved by Gill as the Bassett 'keeper tipped the ball onto the bar and Bunting headed the ball to safety. Ben Gascoyne replaced Stu Hemsley with six minutes left before Magani was booked for retaliation minutes after the referee and his assistants missed a punch on Mills right by the touchline when the ball was no where near the player.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Steve Bunting – produced a solid performance – creating chances for Swatton and battled hard in the middle of the park.
Scoop Rating: 8/10 – A super team performance, battling from the start. The back four kept Slack quiet all day and the midfield worked hard producing chances for the troublesome Swatton.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Tuesday 15th September 2020 at 09:58