Wootton Bassett Town fell further behind in their battle for survival after a demoralising 3-0 away defeat to fellow strugglers Ardley United. Bassett never looked like their recent selves and showed only a bit more than what they did against Rayners Lane a week ago where they lost 2-0 to a team a division lower.
Bassett, battling up the slope, created the early pressure in the opening stages of the first half but failed to trouble Paul Tassell in the Ardley net.
But the pressure was short lived and Ardley settled down and Nana Agyeman burst through the Bassett defence unmarked in the 16th minute only to fire wide following a neat ball from Alex Feaver.
The first goal came in the 31st minute through John Curtis. Tom Doherty hit a high ball that was nodded on by Feaver towards Curtis. Curtis' marker Rich Gee stood off allowing the lanky forward to slide in and guide the ball past Ian Gill.
With five minutes to go in the first half Mikkel Hackett struck over from twenty yards after Steve Yeardley's clearance fell to the midfielder before Feaver struck the outside of the post following a Hackett pass before Feaver rolled Rob Hopkins and struck the ball from twelve yards.
For the first fifteen minutes of the second period it was all Bassett. Within three minutes of the restart the energetic Carl Taylor made a tackle at the halfway line and flew down the left wing before playing to Mark King but his shot was easily saved in a one-on-one situation with Tassell after King winded his way past two defenders.
Then Dave Tyler struck across the face of goal and wide after playing a one-two near halfway with King and beating the offside trap.
Again Tyler came close, this time in the 52nd minute, but Tassell parried his shot from fifteen yards and the follow up was blocked by an Ardley defender and struck Tyler going off for a goal kick.
Matt Bennett, returning after missing last week's game, then latched onto a brilliantly timed Chris Mills through ball but he struck well wide from fifteen yards with a poor effort.
On the hour mark Ian Gill took a stupid swipe at Hackett as both chased down a loose ball, giving away a penalty – which was converted easily by Aaron Davies – and gill got booked for his actions before Bassett imploded.
Chris Mills had the last good chance for Bassett but his left footed shot rolled wide before Hackett somehow missed an easy one-on-one with Gill at the other end.
With eleven minutes to go Davies made it three with a powerful strike just outside the area.
Neither three of the Bassett subs – Tim Kerrigan, Peter McGunigall and Tom Messenger – made a difference to the game as Bassett played deep forcing pressure onto themselves and in the final five minutes Ryan McCullagh could have made it four but his half volley at the back post came back out off the post.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Chris Mills – him and Carl Taylor created chances early in the second half that failed to be finished; Mills had a solid game all round though helping out up front and at the back.
Scoop Rating: 5/10 – Caved in after the penalty. A lack of ideas cost Bassett as they yet again failed to come back from behind.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Wednesday 16th September 2020 at 12:18