Wootton Bassett Town fell further adrift of their rivals in the battle to stave of relegation even though they held their own for most of the match against 10-man Bishops Cleeve, who managed to hold onto a slender 2-0 advantage.
Bassett again didn't start well and Billy Davis gave Cleeve the lead inside three minutes. Ash Bradshaw failed to clear a ball into touch in the right corner and Gary Cornwall quickly pounced on the ball before delivering a cross to Davis at the far post; Davis easily tapped in after Steve Yeardley got a faint touch in his efforts to remove danger.
On 18 minutes James Vercesi met a deep ball from Cornwall with a glancing header, but the ball looped safely into the hands of Daryl Simms.
Bassett never looked out of depth against their much superior opposition and in the 25th minute Ben Gascoyne had the visitors first chance. A clearance from Dave Tyler fell straight to a Cleeve defender. However, Gascoyne intercepted his cross-field pass and made a run at goal before firing wide.
Joe Egleton and Andy Tucker then both failed to trouble Simms with the Bassett defence holding fort before the break.
Bassett made a positive start to the second half but Cleeve once again managed to threaten most. Just before the hour mark a diving Simms stopped well from a long range Davis effort.
With 63 minutes gone Cleeve struck again. Mitch Counsell sent a brilliant through ball into the path of Jon Hills – who beat the offside trap – and Hills slotted under the oncoming Simms.
Andy Hallett was booked a minute later for a foul on Vercesi before Bassett were given a man advantage going into the final quarter hour.
Joe Egleton was well beaten by Rob Day and scooped the ball back with his hand giving referee Barry no option but to produce red, much to the fury of the home side; captain Tucker was booked as well for his continued dissent when it could have been worse for him too.
Tom Messenger replaced Chris Mills in the 75th minute before Bassett went route one in search of a goal. Simms belted a ball, which found Gascoyne but he struck wide of the near post.
With eight minutes left a blistering effort from Davis found the side netting before Davis sent through substitute Steve Cleal but a Carl Taylor challenge stopped Cleal from increasing the lead.
Two more subs from Bassett failed to provide the spark needed for a goal and this result leaves Bassett seven points behind Chipping Norton with four games left.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Dave Tyler – never gave up and was fully committed to getting something from the game.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 – A good performance against far superior opposition. Both goals weren't gifts, which shows Bishops Cleeve had to work hard for the win.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Wednesday 16th September 2020 at 14:18