At the end of the year this could be a game that Bassett look back on and wonder what if they had beaten fourth from bottom Cricklade Town. Bassett are looking to peg the gap between themselves and the leaders with the games in hand they hold, but they need to win those games and not lose against teams who they should be putting to the sword and beating quite comfortably.
After last weeks win against second place Headington Amateurs, Bassett came back down to earth with a thud, and quickly.
In the fourth minute a stupid challenge by Steve Bunting on Matt Charlton earned Cricklade a penalty. Ben Carter stepped up to fire into the top corner, just out of reach of debutant 'keeper Nisar Sultan.
Sultan had to be on his feet in the opening stages of the game as Bassett's poor play allowed Cricklade to create numerous chances.
Carter shot straight at Sultan on 6 minutes before Paul Crabtree was booked for a second foul in the space of a couple of minutes.
In the 27th minute Adam Smith squared to Chris Neale whose shot was blocked by Sultan at the front post.
Iain Ross then shot across goal when unmarked after a crossfield ball from Chris Green.
Richard Unwin received a yellow card in the 32nd minute, two minutes before Bassett equalised.
Steve Tucker headed a Ben Gascoyne cross towards goal only for Tom Fullerlove to parry. However Stu Hemsley tapped in at the far post as he found himself in the right place at the right time.
Gascoyne then nearly scored himself in the 36th minute after cutting inside and riding a number of challenges but his shot from 20-yards went over.
Fullerlove was booked four minutes before the break for handling outside the box when in actual fact Tucker had fouled Fullerlove.
An injury forced Adam Greaney off at half time and Dwayne Quinn was his replacement.
Three minutes after the restart Fullerlove pulled off a great save to deny Hemsley. Hemsley struck a 30-yard free kick headed towards the top corner, but the Cricklade 'keeper got a hand to it and gloved the ball over.
Four minutes later Fullerlove came off his line to try clear but was beaten to the ball by Matty Bennett. Bennett tried a lob from long range but the ball sailed wide.
Bassett got a touch of good fortune in the 56th minute when Carter took the ball round Sultan and shot a goal but Quinn was back in time to clear off the line.
James Townsend replaced Tucker – who picked up an injury – four minutes later before Sultan was nearly lobbed by Carter but the ball rolled wide of the far post.
Crabtree was replaced by Simon Jones midway through the second period as Crabtree was in danger of receiving a second yellow on a day when you couldn't tell what the referee was going to do.
Quinn was lucky not to be sent off after kicking out at an opponent, the result was Quinn's favourite colour this year – yellow.
In the dying seconds Steve Yeardley had a great chance to steal the points. Lurking unmarked in the six yard box, Yeardley connected first time with a Quinn cross but the shot was weak and rolled wide when Yeardley could have taken a touch and blasted the ball into the back of the net.
Paul Burke will see this game as two points lost against a team who his side should really have put to the sword and beaten comfortably judging by the gap in league position.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Ben Gascoyne – set up the goal and was the only player looking to run at Cricklade's poor defence. Caught in possession sometimes but with no options around that was all Gascoyne could do.
Scoop Rating: 4/10 – A dreadful performance from start to finish. Errors nearly cost Bassett the game but there were also opportunities to win it but this should really have been three easy points; Bassett looked second best for portions of the game against a team struggling to find their feet since taking a step up from the Wiltshire League. No player should be proud about the performance in this game.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Friday 18th September 2020 at 09:23