A second half penalty from Steve Yeardley wasn't enough for Wootton Bassett Town as they mustered a 1-1 draw away to fellow strugglers Pewsey Vale and, with Chipping Norton Town defeating Bicester 2-1, Bassett can't catch fourth bottom side Chipping Norton.
Bassett battled well and were the better side in the midst of a downpour and Tom Messenger came close with ten minutes gone but struck wide from a Steve Bunting cross.
Pewsey took the lead on fourteen minutes as Barry Flippance took advantage of a mistimed pass from the Bassett midfield. Flippance got in behind the Bassett defence, rounded Daryl Simms and stroked the ball into an open net as Rob Hopkins tried frantically to clear off the line.
Bassett were able to get the ball on the deck after this and play the ball round their opponents, but this created little and Pewsey were able to latch onto loose balls and create chances of their own.
Kai Dorland struck over from twenty yards just after the half hour before Tom Ritchie was cautioned for persistent fouling.
An Ash Bradshaw corner set up Steve Yeardley with a free header on the penalty spot with seven minutes to go till half time but Yeardley headed over.
With forty minutes gone Bassett fell asleep again, gifting Flippance another shot at an open goal but Hopkins managed to clear off the line before a good effort from Steve Bunting forced a good save out of 'keeper Lee Wilson as Pewsey continued to frustrate Bassett.
With forty-five left to save their season, Bassett upped the ante in the second half and with eleven minutes gone after the restart Rob Hopkins struck just over from twenty-five yards out.
John Grant then replaced Mark King â€“ who had a disappointing game â€“ and Pewsey substitute 'keeper Danny Holcroft was cautioned for dissent.
Bassett had a double chance to equalise in the 65th minute but Ash Bradshaw failed to guide a Lee Morse cross into the back of the net from six yards and Steve Yeardley hooked the rebound wide.
Yeardley did however make up for the miss with seventeen minutes left. A long run from the midfield was ended with Yeardley being tripped in the area and the referee awarding a penalty. Coolly and confidently, he slotted the ball into the far corner past Holcroft.
With six minutes to go Paul Montague struck the bar for Pewsey from twenty-five yards and spared Bassett bottom spot as they push for third from bottom and a slight chance to stay up.
Scoop's Man of the Match: John Grant â€“ came on and put in a brilliant performance out of his normal position.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 â€“ Should have won against poor opposition but the team played good football and created chances; a bit sloppy at the back but the conditions didn't help.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Wednesday 16th September 2020 at 14:20