Wootton Bassett Town secured their first points of the New Year after battling against Fairford Town in a 1-1 draw. Bassett had the chance to win the game in the dying minutes against ten man Fairford but didn't and the final score was an appropriate one.
The visitors had the majority of the chances early on, Lee Stoddart struck across goal and wide on six minutes before Phil Ward headed just wide from a Kevin Coles corner just after.
Bassett took the lead though on fifteen minutes through Dave Tyler. Tyler was there to get the final touch on a Matt Bennett cross, which was helped on by the head of Rich Willis, and put the ball into the back of the net. Four minutes later Bassett's goalscorer struck wide from a thirty-yard effort.
Ward was booked for blocking an Ian Gill goal kick eleven minutes from the break and two minutes later John Joyce was cautioned for a dirty tackle on Richard Gee.
In the 38th minute Ryan Lovegrove struck a free kick from twenty yards safely into the hands of Ian Gill, as Fairford failed to take advantage of numerous set pieces in the opening period.
Bassett nearly started the second half with a goal inside seven seconds of the restart as Bennett found himself on the end of a long over the top but James Price comfortably held his half volley from twenty-five yards out.
Fairford then drew level on 50 minutes when Jonjo Slattery found himself on the end of a deep free kick and the ball bounced off his shin and into the back of the net.
A minute later Joyce blasted over on the volley from twenty yards out before Bassett made their only change just before the hour mark as John Magani replaced Gee who had picked up a slight injury.
Steve Yeardley had a great chance go begging in the 59th minute but his shot from ten yards was blocked and cleared after Bennett found Ash Bradshaw flying down the left who squared the ball to Yeardley at the byline.
Trouble ensued with twenty minutes left when a dirty challenge by Gareth Davies on Magani sparked off a melee in which Magani, Davies and Fairford substitute Ashley Edinburgh were all booked.
Edinburgh was then sent off four minutes later for allegedly spitting in the face of Lee Morse after another bad foul – this time by Yeardley – prompting another melee.
The action in front of goal continued with twelve minutes left when Joyce headed over from a Coles corner.Bennett then struck over with eight minutes left as Fairford failed to clear a Bradshaw corner.
Another foul on Magani earned a caution in the 88th minute as Neil Matthews found his way into the referee's book.
With a minute to go Rich Willis sent a long ball over the top between Fairford's last man and 'keeper Price and Bennett tried a lob from twenty-yards but the ball rolled agonisingly wide.
Then Gill produced an excellent save at the other end denying Stoddart a goal after Gill who was off his line palmed away a fifteen-yard effort from the ex-Bassett forward.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Andy Hallett – kept Stoddart from causing trouble, marking him out of the game.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 – Not the best quality performance but the desire and effort was there to salvage a much needed point over local rivals.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Wednesday 16th September 2020 at 12:01