Hurn Bridge, 4th October 2005
Lewis Till's 17th minute goal sent Wootton Bassett Town out of the FA Vase in their 2nd Qualifying Round replay against Christchurch.
After Saturday's heroics that forced the replay, Bassett put up another solid fight but once more shot themselves in the foot as confusion between Richard Gee and 'keeper Paul Hawkins led to the goal before Steve Yeardley was sent off midway through the second period making the task on hand even harder.
Christchurch looked threatening from the off and with 20 seconds gone Dave Midgeley headed a Matt Czastka cross onto the woodwork.
On 5 minutes Mark King intercepted a poor clearance but shot over from twenty yards before Hawkins made a comfortable save from Midgeley at the other end.
A flick on from Dave Roberts put through Midgeley in the 17th minute but he blasted his shot inches wide when he should have done better.
A minute later Gee tried heading the ball back to the oncoming Hawkins, who missed the ball allowing Till to easily slot home.
Christchurch continued to threaten with Dan Crutchley, Roberts and Midgeley all coming close – a great point-blank save from Hawkins denying the latter.
On 38 minutes an injury to Jon Davis forced Paul Burke into an early substitution, Simon Jones coming on as the replacement.
Six minutes before the break Christchurch found the woodwork again when a rasping 30-yard drive from Martin Lawrence beat Hawkins but cannoned back out of the upright.
The second half produced much of the same as Bassett were continually caught down the flanks by Czastka and Simon Atkins, creating numerous chances in front of goal for the hosts.
On 50 minutes, Czastka's cross found Midgeley, but an excellent save from Hawkins once more kept Christchurch's lead to a minimum.
Moses Greene came on for Mark King a minute later, taking away some of the energy upfront shown brilliantly by King.
Bassett found themselves rightly reduced to ten men for the fifth time so far this season midway through the second period when Steve Yeardley was sent off.
The extra man enabled Christchurch to send more men forward to try close out the game but Bassett's resilience showed – Hawkins pulling off another fine save to deny Till in the 73rd minute.
A dubious offside decision ruled out a second for the home side as Roberts found the back of the net.
A minute later another good save from Hawkins kept out a header from the lanky Roberts before Bassett made their final change bringing on debutant James Townsend for Dwayne Quinn.
Still Christchurch continued to surge forward without getting an end result – Tom Hughes having two headers falling just wide before Bassett finally had a shot on target with five minutes left but Gareth Barfoot was equal to Jones' volley.
As Bassett pressed, their opponents turned to negative tactics to try kill time resulting in the booking of Midgeley for kicking the ball away although there had been multiple incidents like this earlier but Bert Barry failed to get his cards out.
In injury time Czastka had a good chance but hit over when one-on-one with Hawkins before another excellent save denied Midgeley at his feet.
It wasn't to be for Bassett, however many positives must come from these two closely fought ties against higher level opposition.
Bassett's determination and fight showed brilliantly twice but Christchurch's pace and football got the better of Bassett at the second time of asking. Discipline though continues to be a problem with captain Yeardley now facing a lengthy suspension adding to Steve Tucker, Moses Greene, Jon Davis and possibly Dwayne Quinn who are already are or are approaching suspensions.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Paul Hawkins – a fantastic debut for Chris' brother. Kept Bassett in the tie with some great saves and looks to be a good replacement for the injured John Haines. Steve Howse also showed well on the night.
Scoop Rating: 8/10 – An avoidable goal and a stupid stamp from Yeardley cost Bassett on the night, although it was another solid performance even with a depleted side. If performances of this calibre are taken over into League games then opponents could be in real danger.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38