A 1-1 against fifth place Old Woodstock Town, a team Bassett have four games in hand on, means the chances of Paul Burke's side being in with a shout of promotion come April's end are getting slimmer as the season winds down.
In blustery conditions, the game could have gone either way as the wind made the defense's job harder than usual. It was more poor finishing than good defending though as there should have been more than the two goals both sides managed to produce.
Bassett nearly took the lead on five minutes when an Anthony McCusker corner was cleared off the line after being redirected towards goal by an Old Woodstock defender.
The visitors attacked straight away following this and a minute later, after running half the length of the pitch, James Clarke shot, producing a diving save from John Haines.
A curling Lee Marshall free kick from the right side was saved easily by Darren Mole on 11 minutes.
A long ball over the top caused Marshall problems nine minutes later and Simon Lenagan pounced on the loose ball. However, Haines was there to smother at Lenagan's feet after initially hesitating to come off his line.
Bassett took the lead in the 22nd minute. Nathan Hall squared to Matty Bennett on the edge of the box, Bennett tried to turn to get a sight on goal but lost control of the ball. This luckily fell to Ben Gascoyne who drilled a stunning first time shot into the bottom corner.
Paul Crabtree had a chance to double the lead just before the half hour mark when he shot across the face of goal and Old Woodstock midfielder Steve Ayris slid in, knocking the ball just over.
Bassett's lead only lasted ten minutes when Duncan Fitzgerald tapped in unmarked at the far post following an Aaron Davies cross. Stu Hemsley gave the ball away following the kick off and Haines had to parry wide a Lenagan shot after Ayris had supplied the ball from the right.
The second half didn't begin well for Bassett as Hall was booked for delaying the restart of play before an Ayris shot from the edge of the area went just over after Lenagan had played him through.
Jon Davis replaced McCusker on 58 minutes before Clarke forced another save from Haines two minutes later.
Two identical Davis free kicks almost gave Bassett the lead, with a little help from the wind. With 63 minutes gone Mole was forced to tip wide. Then eight minutes later the ball beat Mole but struck the bar before Marshall headed the rebound just over. Simon Jones replaced Stu Hemsley with just under twenty minutes remaining.
Andy Hallett's head prevented an almost certain goal for Fitzgerald in the 75th minute. Clarke headed the ball down to Fitzgerald, who unleashed a ferocious volley from the edge of the area only for the Bassett defender, who didn't know much about it, to get in the way.
Two minutes later Tony Bott tripped Hall in the box only for referee Whelen to wave play on.
With only six minutes remaining Clarke missed a golden opportunity as he shot inches wide from 15 yards after Lenagan cut the ball back to him whilst unmarked. Fitzgerald was then booked for tripping.
The last chance of the match fell to Matty Bennett but he was unable to provide the winner. After beating an oncoming Mole to the ball in the corner of the box, Bennett cut inside. Good covering from Old Woodstock meant there wasn't an open goal for Bennett to shoot at and his effort from a tight angle, aimed at the far right corner, was too straight and went wide.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Sam Lawro – got stuck in all day in what was a physical game against big opposition and distributed the ball well in difficult conditions.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 – Played well considering the conditions but could have snuck a victory from the game even though the game was evenly matched and there was little to separate the teams. It was a game a victory was needed in though but a point is better than nothing.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Friday 18th September 2020 at 10:48