M Bennett, J Magani
Paul Burke's aim for seven straight wins to see out the year came to an abrupt end as Bassett were held to a 2-2 draw by fifth from bottom Cirencester United.
Bassett made a dream start – a powerfully struck Paul Crabtree shot produced a brilliant save from Cirencester 'keeper Matt Keslake. Keslake was only able to parry it though and Matty Bennett poked in the rebound from 10 yards after only two minutes.
Seven minutes later Ben Jackson should have equalised when he found himself on the end of an Ian McSherry corner. Jackson hesitated though and before he could get his shot off Chris Mills collected the ball.
Bassett then failed to capitalise on a string of excellent chances. In the 16th minute Bennett rounded his man and shot just wide from a tight angle. Bennett forced another good save from Keslake three minutes later but once again the ball was only parried; Ben Gascoyne was there for the rebound but somehow shot wide when presented with an open goal.
Gascoyne had a chance to redeem himself in the 27th minute when he ran through the Cirencester defence but, when one-on-one with Keslake, he dragged his shot wide of the far post.
McSherry then forced a save from Mills before Cirencester pulled level two minutes before half time. A great cross from the right from McSherry was met with a header by Phil Hall – who just beat Mills to the ball – which found the back of the net.
McSherry opened the second half with two good chances as he shot wide from a 20-yard free kick before forcing a punch from Mills with a fierce shot from the edge of the box.
Steve Bunting was booked for an innocuous foul eight minutes after the restart before John Magani replaced Bennett, who had picked up a knock.
The substitution paid immediate dividends. With 70 minutes on the clock Magani turned his man before unleashing an unstoppable 25-yard thunderbolt that whizzed past Keslake.
A rash challenge on Sam Lawro produced a yellow for Martin Richings two minutes after the goal before Hall equalised once again. Hall curled a low free kick into the bottom corner despite the fact there was a man covering the post after Steve Yeardley had fouled right on the edge of the box.
On 79 minutes a Nathan Hall cross from the left was met with a Magani diving header, the ball floated just over though.
A minute later Hall had a chance to grab his hat trick when Dan Bailey played him through. One-on-one with Mills, Hall tried to place the ball in the top corner but managed to hit the crossbar. Bassett countered from this and caught Cirencester on the break. Magani slid through Nathan Hall. With only the 'keeper to beat, Hall managed to slide the ball past the far post from 10 yards.
Craig MacLaren was thrown on in place of Anthony McCusker but this had little effect as corners and throw ins in dangerous positions were wasted. Ian Probert was booked for persistent fouling eight minutes before the end and, disappointingly for Bassett, that would be the last action of the game.
Scoop's Man of the Match: John Magani – made his mark immediately after his introduction and caused problems for the Cirencester defence. Nearly won the game with a header before his well time through ball should have been dispatched by Nathan Hall
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – Paul Burke was right to be frustrated with the number of chances that were missed. Poor marking led to the first for Cirencester but by then the game should have been in the bag.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Friday 18th September 2020 at 10:54
M Bennett, J Magani