After another nondescript performance against lesser opposition, it looked as though Wootton Bassett Town would be getting only a point against second bottom Clanfield. But a 65th minute header from Justin Hyde – his first goal in over two years - earned Bassett a much needed three points.
Hyde's effort ensured manager Paul Burke didn't have to come on to give the side a boost after he named himself substitute following the 11th hour withdrawal of Matty Bennett.
Neither side created much in either half in what was a scrappy affair.
On twelve minutes Nathan Radbone had a sight on goal for the visitors but struck wide from twenty yards.
Six minutes later Rich Unwin shot from ten yards but was denied by Dan Harding.
Midway through the first period Unwin pounced on a loose ball before striking from the edge of the area. His effort forced a save from Harding who had to tip wide.
In the 26th minute Bassett created the best chance of the first half when a crossfield ball from Unwin fell perfectly in the path of Steve Bunting. Noticing Harding was off his line, Bunting shot from distance but Harding managed to make up ground and tip wide.
Nine minutes before half time Lee Marshall was booked for a late foul before John Haines was equal to a Radbone shot after John Edmunds laid the ball back to the Clanfield midfielder.
Bassett nearly fell a goal behind a minute after the restart when Sam Lawro gave the ball away just outside his own box and Radbone intercepted. However John Haines was equal to his effort once again.
A counter attack from Clanfield opened up the Bassett defence on 54 minutes, allowing Lee Cook to cross to an unmarked James Bruce. Bruce connected with a header from ten yards but couldn't find the target. Four minutes later a Radbone volley from the edge of the area sailed over.
John Davis replaced Paul Crabtree with eighteen minutes gone of the second half and two minutes later Bassett had the lead.
Sam Lawro whipped in an in-swinging corner from the left into the six yard box. Hyde managed to get to the ball before 'keeper Harding and guided the ball into the roof of the net with his head.
Hyde was booked ten minutes later for dissent before Dwayne Quinn replaced Steve Bunting.
With nine minutes to go Unwin nearly doubled Bassett's lead when he headed just wide after connecting with a Lawro corner.
Ben Gascoyne had a chance a minute later but was unable to double the lead as, after taking on three, he shot from the edge of the area but Harding comfortably collected the weak effort.
Clanfield were able to apply some pressure on the Bassett defence towards the end and a good save from Haines prevented Bobby Clark from netting the equaliser as he tipped wide Clark's shot.
Nevertheless, Clanfield never really looked like troubling the back of the net as Bassett were able to gain some ground on the teams above them after getting some favourable results.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Rich Unwin – didn't get booked for once and put in a solid performance, winning a lot of tackles. He had a couple good chances and also created some openings.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – Not the best performance of the year, but it yielded three much needed points and, at the end of the day, points are what matter.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Friday 18th September 2020 at 10:31