M Bennett, N Hall, J Magani
Paul Burke and his charges were left embarrassed and hurt as they shipped five goals following a dreadful display against Banbury United Reserves. Bassett managed three in reply but were outplayed all night and were deservedly beat.
Never a side for starting fast, Bassett were behind within three minutes of the opening whistle. Neil Lazuras flew past Rich Gee in the right corner and his cross was firmly headed in by Andy Hoderin, leaving Paul Hawkins no chance.
John Magani came close to equalising seven minutes later when his shot was parried at his feet by Joe Murrell after a one-two with Stu Hemsley.
Magani then contrived to set up Bassett's equaliser as he ran to the byline, drawing Murrell off his line, before cutting back for Matty Bennett to smash home from six yards.
On twenty minutes a brilliant save by Hawkins denied Murray Nicholls from a 20 yard free kick. Five minutes later though Hawkins couldn't deny a powerful Lazarus header as he connected with a Stewart Bridges cross.
Nathan Hall then levelled things up again in the 32nd minute, Magani raced onto a Jon Davis through ball before cutting back to Hall who buried the ball into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
Two minutes later Steve Yeardley and Chris Mills both had chance to put Bassett ahead for the first time. Yeardley's chipped shot was parried by Murrell before Mills struck the rebound but the ball was hacked off of the line.
Nicholls, previously denied from a free kick, put Banbury ahead seven minutes before the break with a superb set piece. With only two men in the wall, Nicholls was able to whip the ball into the bottom left corner, giving Hawkins no chance.
Two minutes after the restart Alan Robinson nearly turned in a low Lazuras cross as Bassett were once again caught napping. On 52 minutes Paul Crabtree replaced Stu Hemsley to try shore up the centre midfield which had acted like a sieve for most of the opening period.
However Banbury were able to double their lead on the hour mark when Andrew Hoderin picked out Jordan Weaver with a pinpoint crossfield pass and the substitute fired into the top corner from an angle.
Immediately Magani pegged the home side back as he cut inside his man and buried a 10 yard effort just inside the near post.
Sensing the game was back on Burke replaced Hall with Mark King to add more strength to the frontline. However Bassett's problems at the back and in midfield carried on.
Hawkins was forced to parry a long range Robinson effort away in the 70th minute before chasing to smother the loose ball.
Anthony McCusker replaced debutant Lee Beavis, who had an impressive debut, before the first card of the night was brought out in the 84th minute as Lazuras was cautioned for kicking the ball away after being caught offside.
As Bassett threw men forward, Banbury were able to effectively hit the visitors on the break. In the 78th minute, a Davis corner was cleared and the hosts surged forward. Bridges struck from the edge of the area and beat Hawkins but could only find the bar and McCusker – who had ran most of the length of the field to get back along with Mark King – headed clear.
Six minutes later the game was killed off. Bridges beat the offside trap before squaring to Weaver in a two-on-one situation – and Weaver netted his brace. The goal came from a Bassett attack which had broke down in the middle of the field and Banbury countered clinically as all it took was two passes before the ball was in the back of the net.
Steve Yeardley and King were both booked in the closing stages as their frustrations got the better of them.
The scoreline suggests it is a game Burke and co need to forget. However rather than that it is a game which should serve a lasting lesson for the remainder of the year: play like that and you will be punished.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Jon Magani
Scoop Rating: 3/10 – It was a night where nothing seemed to click and Bassett were deservedly picked apart. However Bassett did create numerous chances and could have got a point out of the game, albeit it would be a point they didn't deserve at all.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Sunday 20th September 2020 at 14:43
M Bennett, N Hall, J Magani