R Gee, S Hemsley
After two and a half seasons at the club, defender Richard Gee finally got his first goal as his 30th minute header helped Wootton Bassett Town progress into the next round of the Supplementary Cup following a 2-1 win over local rivals Purton.
The icy pitch did nothing to help either team and early on this was evident as possession changed frequently.
On 14 minutes Stu Hemsley blocked a clearance from Purton 'keeper Aaron Dickinson and ran onto the loose ball before shooting across the face of goal from a tight angle. Five minutes later a third foul by Rich Unwin earned the midfielder a yellow card.
Lively Purton forward Brinn Keech then had two chances in the space of two minutes, heading into the hands of John Haines on 27 minutes before firing just wide on the turn from the edge of the area.
An ankle injury curtailed Steve Yeardley's evening on 28 minutes, the Bassett captain is now likely to be out of action for much of the remainder of the season. Tom Messenger was his replacement.
Gee took over the armband and the captain set an example immediately. A Sam Lawro corner was only half cleared to Paul Crabtree on the edge of the area, who redirected the ball into the box. Gee rose and directed a looping header into the back of the net to give the home side the lead.
Ben Gascoyne shot just over after cutting in from the right six minutes before the break.
Gascoyne inadvertently assisted Bassett's second goal in the 42nd minute when Dickinson somehow spilled his long throw and Stu Hemsley pounced on the loose ball and shot in from ten yards.
Haines then kept out effort from Josh Digby and Keech in first half stoppage time.
Ten minutes into the second half Matty Bennett nearly found a third for Bassett when he intercepted a poor clearance from a Lawro cross on the edge of the area before striking a left footed shot that hit the bar and went over.
Chris Hawkins replaced Unwin on the hour mark before Jon Davis was brought on for Lawro four minutes later.
Bassett continued to press for the goal that would kill the game and both Davis and Gascoyne had long range efforts go near.
Nineteen minutes from time Gascoyne played a long to Bennett who cut the ball back to Anthony McCusker at the far post. After being closed down before he could get a shot off, McCusker squared to Hawkins. Hawkins scuffed his shot though after an unfavourable bounce and the ball sailed wide. A minute later a first time effort from Paul Crabtree went wide.
In the 74th minute an error from Haines allowed Jason Edwards to halve the deficit. Haines dropped a high, looping cross following poor communication with his defence and Edwards shot in from twelve yards.
The goal was a wake up call for Paul Burke's side, who hadn't been able to put their stamp on their game despite their numerous chances.
However, Purton failed to trouble the Bassett goal again and it was the home side that came close to getting their two goal cushion back when Dickinson used his feet to deny Gascoyne a minute later.
Bennett struck wide from 20 yards with five minutes to go as Bassett were able to hold for victory and a place in the Supplementary Cup quarter finals.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Stu Hemsley – made himself a presence all over the pitch. Linked up well with the front two and his quick instincts got him the goal.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 – Dominated the game for the most despite not playing to the best of the ability. Failed to kill the game off after starting slowly in the second half and were nearly made to pay for this. However it was a solid all round performance considering the conditions.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Friday 18th September 2020 at 11:09
R Gee, S Hemsley