M King, T Messenger, S Yeardley
Despite trailing by a goal at half time, three second half goals lifted Wootton Bassett Town to a deserved 3-1 victory over Headington Amateurs. In a physical match it took a professional team performance to win, and that is what Bassett produced to beat a team who came into the match second in the league.
Jamie Munday gave Headington the lead in the eighth minute. Steve Yeardley missed a header allowing Munday to run at goal unopposed and he buried the ball into the far corner past the outstretched Paul Hawkins.
Five minutes later Tom Messenger failed to clear a Munday cross and the ball fell to an unmarked James Gray at the back post but Gray managed to hit over from a great position.
Bassett then began to put their stamp on the game and nearly equalised when Mark King headed just over from a Matty Bennett cross.
On 31 minutes Stu Hemsley forced a great save from Nick Butcher as he was forced to tip over from Hemsley's free kick.
From the resulting corner the visitors were lucky not to concede the equaliser as Tom Messenger had a shot cleared off the line following a Hemsley flick on. Headington countered from this and Munday struck a shot that bounced off the post and went wide.
Good work by Bennett put King through but his shot from 20-yards went just wide.
With five minutes to go before half time Mark Evans and Matthew Phillips played a one-two setting Evans free but his shot went wide.
Bassett hit the ground running in the second half and thirty seconds in levelled the scores. Richard Gee picked the ball up in his own half and took on three before playing to Hemsley. Hemsley squared to King, who looped the ball into the far corner of the net over Butcher's head.
In the 59th minute Messenger put Bassett ahead. Steve Tucker sent a ball in behind the Headington defence, and Messenger ran onto it before rounding Butcher and slid the ball into the back of the net.
With 66 minutes gone Phillips cut in from the left and unleashed a shot from the edge of the area but it was straight at Hawkins who smothered. A minute later Steve Bunting replaced Ben Gascoyne.
Midway through the second period Bennett almost doubled Bassett's lead as his shot beat Butcher at the front post but went into the side netting. The first yellow card of a physical match was produced with 16 minutes to go when Danny Morgan was booked for a late lunge on Bennett.
In the 75th minute a failed Headington attack allowed Bennett to attack on the break. King was played the ball by Bennett and produced a weak effort that was comfortably held by Butcher as Tucker was waiting at the far post and King failed to spot him.
Richard Unwin replaced King a minute later before Bunting was booked for dangerous play even though he won the ball.
A nose injury to Messenger forced Burke into another change as Paul Crabtree replaced him and did well in the limited time he had on the field, showing good distribution.
With four minutes to go, Crabtree played a ball to Tucker and the in form forward shot only for Butcher to save.
The game was wrapped up with two minutes to go when Tucker was upended in the box after playing the ball out to the edge of the area and referee Ian Douglas awarded a dubious penalty. Steve Yeardley slotted the ball into the bottom right corner, continuing his 100% record from the spot since becoming Bassett's penalty taker.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Richard Gee – made some great tackles and his hard work created the equaliser. Dominated in the air and didn't put a foot wrong all game.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 – A professional performance against a team who felt they were favourites going into the game. Unlike in recent years, the team didn't crack once they went behind and pushed hard all game in a physical battle. The defence was sturdy as usual with Gee, Yeardley and Adam Greaney keeping Paul Hawkins relatively quiet.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Thursday 17th September 2020 at 19:01
M King, T Messenger, S Yeardley