M Bennett, B Gascoyne, S Hemsley
Remember Euro '96, England vs Scotland and Paul Gascoigne's wonder goal? Well, namesake Ben Gascoyne produced a goal that brought back memories of Wembley '96, as his stunning contribution helped Bassett secure three points against 7th placed Cheltenham Saracens in a 3-1 victory.
Gascoyne's contribution didn't stop short of the goal as he provided a superbly weighted ball that led to Bassett's second before whipping in a free kick that was put into the back of the net by Matty Bennett for the third.
However the game could have been much more different after a shaky start almost allowed Cheltenham to take the lead. In the ninth minute Wesley Green crossed from the right, with the ball falling at the feet of an unmarked Alex Moxey. Moxey struck a powerful shot bound for the bottom corner only for John Haines' fist to send the ball wide after a great point blank save.
On 21 minutes Gascoyne collected a pass on the left touchline just inside the Cheltenham half. After brilliantly backheeling the ball past two defenders, Gascoyne cut inside and raced towards goal. After beating the last man he struck an unstoppable shot from the edge of the area, which Ryan Betteridge could only get a hand to, that found the bottom left corner.
Eight minutes later a ball over the top wasn't dealt with by Chris Palmer and Bennett ran onto the loose ball. A great one-on-one save from Betteridge denied Bennett though as his shot from a tight angle was parried away.
On the half hour mark Bassett's lead was doubled. From the left wing, Gascoyne floated an exquisite ball perfectly into the path of Hemsley – who had made a great run. Hemsley took one touch and drilled the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Cheltenham immediately put pressure on Bassett from the kick off and a cross from the left caused trouble for Haines who had to backpedal and tip the ball away from goal before Howse headed to safety.
Two minutes before half time another excellent move from Bassett should have garnered a third. Bennett whipped in a cross from the right, which was flicked on by Nathan Hall to an unmarked Hemsley. Hemsley somehow managed to head over from six yards though.
Cheltenham applied pressure straight from the restart and poor marking allowed John Lund a sight at goal; however his shot from 20-yards was wide when presented with a 3-on-2 situation.
Bassett killed the game off in the 57th minute when a Gascoyne free kick was taken down by Bennett at the far post. Bennett's touch wasn't the best but he was able to keep possession and tap in from 10 yards.
Three minutes later another shot from Lund ended up wide after he found himself on the end of a cross from the right. Good pressure meant he wasn't able to get an early shot off.
With 64 minutes on the clock Rich Gee headed just wide from a Jon Davis corner before Chris Mills replaced Hemsley.
A half volley from the edge of the area by Bennett with twenty minutes to go went just over before youngster Rory Meecham replaced Steve Yeardley and Steve Bunting was replaced by Anthony McCusker.
Immediately after his introduction, Meecham was presented with a golden opportunity, finding himself alone on the end of a Hall cross. Meecham failed to control though but, luckily for Bassett, Gascoyne was there to intercept the cross. A fine save from Betteridge denied Gascoyne a second though as he came off his line and produced a diving save.
With eleven minutes left Cheltenham grabbed a goal back when Tim Rylatt scored from 25-yards out.
Two minutes later Lund had a chance to claw another goal back but was denied by another good save at point blank range by Haines.
With eight games left, Bassett find themselves in touching distance of the teams above them. With 24 points on offer it is imperative few or no points are dropped during the run in if the dream of Hellenic Premier football is to be a reality next season. This win was a good start, now its up to the players to keep winning.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Ben Gascoyne – after a poor first twenty minutes, the goal seemed to wake Gascoyne up and following that he played an instrumental part in creating the other two goals and could have had one more for himself if it wasn't for some good goalkeeping.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 – A solid and dominant performance after the first goal, before that there were some patchy moments. Some poor defending led to the goal but the performance in front of goal overshadowed that.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Friday 18th September 2020 at 10:52
M Bennett, B Gascoyne, S Hemsley