M King, D Tyler
Wootton Bassett Town put in an impressive performance at high-flying North Leigh only to be denied a much needed victory by a last minute penalty.
This was a hard working performance by a side that feel they are in a false position and are now fighting for their Premier Division lives. After this draw Bassett are now unbeaten in their last four completed games (we don't count last Tuesday's farce at Carterton).
Bassett without star man Matty Bennett had the first opportunity as early as the first minute when Lee Morse shot from the edge of the box but his shot was easily saved by Alan Foster in the North Leigh goal.
North Leigh's first chance fell to Andy McCabe on six minutes but he shot well wide.
On ten minutes a Rob Hopkins error allowed Liam Hope a run in on goal but a last gasp tackle from Carl Taylor prevented the shot on goal.
It was Lee Morse who again fired in a shot for the visitors on 11 minutes but again it was an easy take for Foster as Morse was forced to fire in quickly on his less favoured left foot.
North Leigh had their best chance of the game so far when their influential skipper Gary Murphy played the ball into the feet of Robbie Wyatt who laid it off to Matty Ellis but Ellis fired over.
Within a minute the ball was at the other end and Foster raced off his line to save aat the feet of Bassett's Dave Tyler.
On seventeen minutes Richard Willis put in an excellent header to clear a dangerous looking cross from Darren Maisey.
Bassett's next chance fell to Tyler following great link up play with Mark King, Tyler being denied by a last gasp tackle from Murphy.
Bassett had defended well playing up the famous North Leigh slope and with keeper Ian Gill in commanding form looked like they would make it to half time without conceding.
However, a succession of corners finally saw the deadlock broken when in the 34th minute Mark Lewis stole in at the back post to head in a corner from North Leigh's dangerous winger Robbie Wyatt. Wyatt's pace had caused most of the problems for the Bassett defence in the first period.
At the other end Bassett's front two of Dave Tyler and Mark King continued to cause the North Leigh defence all kinds of headaches and it was fitting that the two combined to put Bassett back on level terms. In the 40th minute King chased down a ball with North Leigh keeper Alan Foster and forced the keeper into mis-kicking the ball straight to King who squared to Tyler who fired the ball into the net for his seventh goal of the season.
Bassett started much the brighter of the two sides in the second half with the hard-working Tyler and King once again instrumental in much of Bassett's play.
However, ten minutes after the break Bassett were lucky to escape when a cross from the right was headed narrowly wide by Wyatt.
To have gone behind having been the better side in the opening exchanges of the half would have been harsh and Bassett deservedly went in front on 59 minutes when man of the match King dispossessed experienced North Leigh defender Maisey and raced on and fired an unstoppable shot past Foster in the North Leigh goal.
Bassett had their chances to put the game beyond doubt with strikers King and Tyler causing all kinds of problems to the North Leigh rearguard. On 62 minutes King set up Tyler again but his shot went agonisingly wide.
On 65 minutes North Leigh's McCabe was booked for a late tackle on man of the match King. As a result of this challenge King was eventually forced to leave the game being replaced by debut maker Tim Kerrigan. Steve Yeardley was also booked for Bassett for getting involved in the incident that saw King injured.
With ten minutes to go Tyler again had a chance to put the game beyond doubt but his shot again went agonisingly wide.
A minute later Gill was forced into an excellent save following a flick on. However, North Leigh thought they had drawn level on 86 minutes when Lewis again found the back of the net but this time his celebrations were cut short by the linesman's flag, the goal being disallowed for offside. Captain Murphy was booked for his protest to the referee about the decision.
Having rode their luck Bassett must have thought that the three precious points were their's but in the very last minute winger Wyatt cut inside Andy Hallett on the touchline, Hallett connected and the flying winger went down. Despite protests that Hallett had connected with the winger outside the box, the ref pointed to the spot and Wyatt picked himself up to fire past Gill to give North Leigh a share of the points.
Bassett barely had time to take the kick-off and it was harsh to have all three points taken away in such a cruel fashion after this spirited showing.
Credit: Mark Smedley
Last modified on Thursday 17th September 2020 at 09:15
M King, D Tyler