Wootton Bassett TownWBTFC
Christchurch
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WBTFC Scorers:
M Bennett

Bennett and Bassett Show Grit, Forcing Replay

Rylands Way, 1st October 2005

With Christchurch leading 1-0 in the dying seconds, and with 'keeper John Haines in an ambulance on his way to hospital with a knee injury, a rasping effort from Matty Bennett levelled the scores and ultimately forced a replay as Bassett's grit and determination showed in an epic FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round match.

It was a game that had it all – two red cards, a missed penalty and a brilliant display for 40 minutes by a 9-man Bassett side.

However, the day didn't start well with Dave Roberts heading in from eight yards to give Christchurch the lead in the 10th minute.

Dwayne Quinn was booked in the 21st minute for a rugby tackle, saving Bassett from going two down before an elbow on Richard Gee from Christchurch captain Chris Swan produced the first red card of the day, Bert Barry having no option but to dismiss Swan.

On 34 minutes Haines made one of the saves of the season, using his legs to deny Roberts a second after Lewis Till had gotten in behind the Bassett defence and squared for the unmarked Roberts.

Wessex League Christchurch were looking nervy with 10-men and it only looked to be a matter of time before the dangerous Bennett would showcase his ability in front of goal.

The second half didn't start the way Bassett wanted though, as Mark Edmonds was brought off injured and replaced by Moses Greene with only five minutes gone before Christchurch were awarded a penalty and Quinn sent off.

In the 54th minute Steve Yeardley dragged down Billy Puckett just inside the box and Barry awarded a penalty before sending off the ill-disciplined Quinn for swearing at Puckett. The luck was with Bassett though, as Puckett, just 16 years of age, dragged the penalty left of the goal.

Craig MacLaren replaced Stu Hemsley with twenty minutes left after Hemsley picked up a knock.

On 75 minutes MacLaren made a much needed tackle to deny Puckett a chance to redeem himself before Jack Dodd replaced Jon Davis, a sub Bassett could have done with, considering what would happen with ten minutes left.

After parrying a Matt Czastka corner, Haines ran to try collect the ball but heard something tear in his knee forcing Yeardley to take over between the sticks.

Yeardley dealt with his first action in goal comfortably, saving from Czastka.

Bassett then began pressurising the Christchurch defence with MacLaren heading just over before Bennett struck with a 20-yard volley past the outstretched arms of Gareth Barfoot, forcing extra time.

It took a valiant defensive effort from Bassett to keep Christchurch from stealing a win – solid tackles from Gee, MacLaren, Tom Messenger and even Yeardley ended good chances for the Dorset side.

Simon Atkins forced a comfortable save from Yeardley in the first period before Martin Lawrence shot wide.

Bassett dodged a bomb with four minutes to go when a corner from the right fell to Tom Hughes ten yards out and with an open goal in front of him. His powerful effort looked destined to go in but bounced back out off the bar and was cleared to force a replay on Tuesday night.

Scoop's Man of the Match: Matty Bennett – tested the Christchurch defence all day and deserved the goal. However, the whole team fought, stepping their game up when needed to and battling on with 9 men.

Scoop Rating: 9/10 – A courageous display considering the circumstances and a brilliant defensive display to snuff out Christchurch's chances towards the end.

Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38

Wootton Bassett TownWBTFC
Christchurch
Wootton Bassett Town Logo
1 ‒ 1
AET
Christchurch Logo

WBTFC Scorers:
M Bennett