N Hall, Own Goal
A slice of luck gave Wootton Bassett Town another win as they beat Letcombe by the odd goal in three thanks to Iain Whatley's own goal at the start of the second half. With other results going in their favour, it is now up to Bassett if they are to bounce back to the Hellenic Premier at the first attempt. Four games remain, four wins are what is required.
Paul Burke's side dominated the opening stages of the first half and should have grabbed more than the one goal they did.
After only three minutes Stu Hemsley struck just over from the edge of the area after John Magani pulled the ball back to him.
Five minutes later Nathan Hall mishit a Matty Bennett cross. Hall's mishit struck Paul Crabtree six yards out though and looked to be headed in but Stuart Game did well to parry the ball away.
Hall scored the opener with twelve and a half minutes gone. A Ben Gascoyne shot from the edge of the area was blocked and fell into the path of Hall, who poked the ball into the back of the net from ten yards.
Gascoyne nicked the ball from the kickoff before playing through Magani. Magani cut inside Mark De La Coze before shooting wide from 15 yards when he could have done better.
In the 20th minute Magani dummied a Bennett cross, freeing up Hemsley but the midfeidler's weak shot was tipped wide.
Sean Webb made Bassett pay for the missed chance with half an hour gone when he tapped into an open net following a mix up between Steve Yeardley and John Haines. Both went up for a Richard Claydon free kick and missed, gifting Webb an easy goal.
Claydon and his strike partner Mark Rees caused the Bassett defence â€“ sloppy by their usual high standards â€“ trouble.
Six minutes before half time Yeardley brought out the first yellow card for an over the top challenge on the edge of the box. Luckilly for him Matt Goddard shot just over with his free kick.
Three minutes later Claydon was booked for a foul he didn't commit before he took on two defenders, forcing a diving save from Haines after he shot from 18-yards.
Stu Hemsley was forced off with an injury at half time as Chris Mills â€“ playing in his third position in as many games - replaced him.
Three minutes after the restart a long Mills throw would eventually lead to the winner. The ball bounced around the six-yard box before Whatley, trying to clear, inadvertently thumped the ball into his own net.
Bennett then came close to extending the lead but he blazed just over from the edge of the box before a header from Rich Gee produced a comfortably save from Game.
Bassett's scrappy defending continued as they failed to clear from a corner allowing Simon Tabor a shot on goal but he blazed just over.
Midway through the second period Magani squared to Bennett but he once again struck just over.
Haines made a fine save to deny a low Gareth Boldsworth free kick as he palmed wide at full stretch.
With five minutes left Claydon had the chance to equalise when put in behind the defence by a Paul Robert reverse pass. However Letcombe's lead marksman produced a weak effort from just inside the box thatwas comfortably held by Haines as Bassett clung onto two extremely vital points.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Nathan Hall â€“ held the ball up well and continues to work well with Magani. His poacher's instincts showed as he bagged the first.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 â€“ Did enough to win but it wasn't the most convincing performance. The finishing wasn't the best but credit to Letcombe as they defended resolutely.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Friday 18th September 2020 at 11:11
N Hall, Own Goal