Despite taking the lead through Dwayne Quinn only six minutes in and a superb performance from freshly turned 16-year old debutant 'keeper Adam Miller, Wootton Bassett Town – who lacked conviction the entire 90 minutes - contrived to throw away two points as they were held to a 1-1 at home by fifth from bottom Easington Sports.
Ricky Johnson denied Bassett the victory twelve minutes from time, as he drove in after Adam Daley had pulled the ball back to the edge of the area where Johnson was waiting unmarked.
Henry Rose gave Bassett an early scare as he drilled just wide in the first 60 seconds. Three minutes later Sean Keogh almost stuck one past his own 'keeper but Tom Willshere managed to brilliantly parry wide.
Quinn found the back of the net with 6 minutes gone as he cut inside his marker and fired just inside Willshere's near post from eighteen yards.
A great run down the right from Matty Bennett should have led to a second in the 21st minute but after he cut the ball back from the byline, Steve Yeardley failed to get the ball out of his own feet and Easington were able to break. A Rich Gee foul broke up the attack and the Bassett defender was cautioned for his actions.
Four minutes later Bennett crossed from the right and, after the ball bounced around at the far post, Quinn headed goalwards from eight yards but Willshere was able to hold on.
Miller was forced into a great save on the half hour mark after Daley had beaten the offside trap. After bearing down on goal, Daley struck from just inside the box but Miller kept his composure and parried the ball to safety. A late trip on Steve Bunting brought out the second yellow card of the day four minutes later with Russell Wilkins getting his name in the book.
With two minutes to go before the break, Rose almost tied the game up as he beat an oncoming Miller to a loose ball but his shot rolled just wide of the far post.
A minute later a Bennett cross was met by Yeardley 12 yards out but Willshere was able to keep it out with a diving save.
Bassett continued to create but lack finish after the restart – six minutes into the second half John Magani struck wide a low Yeardley cross from ten yards before Bunting was booked for a tackle in which the ball was won. Scott Large replaced Rich Gee in the 55th minute as Yeardley moved into the back three.
Just before the hour Magani drilled a low cross across the face of goal, which an outstretched Mills missed connecting with by an inch whilst unmarked at the far post.
Large thought he had a goal in the 63rd minute when his cross from the left was fumbled and looked as though it had hit the back of the net. However it was ruled not to have crossed the line although Mark King could have made sure of the goal but didn't poke the ball home from a yard.
Paul Burke then made a double change as Jon Davis and Nathan Hall replaced Bunting and King.
With 66 minutes gone a left footed drive from Gavin Conner flew just over after Rose had pulled the ball back across the box. At the other end a Quinn cross picked out Bennett at the far post but his effort from close range was saved with difficulty by Willshere.
With twenty minutes to go Bassett failed to clear from a free kick and a Rose shot was blocked by Yeardley but only in the direction of Johnson. However, with it looking easier to score, Johnson volleyed over from six yards.
Seven minutes later though he made amends for his earlier miss as he scored the equaliser. After the goal Bassett heads dropped and they clutched at straws for the remainder of the game.
A minute after Yeardley had been booked for a trip on the edge of the area, substitute Perry Hawkins unleashed a volley from 20-yards after Bassett once again failed to clear. Miller was beaten but luckily Hawkins' effort found the crossbar.
With three minutes to go Bassett gave the ball away from their own throw in allowing Daley to run to the byline before cutting back across the box to an unmarked Hawkins. Once again Hawkins missed though as he sliced his effort well wide. Quinn was booked in the final minute as Bassett failed to win at home for the fourth time this year.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Adam Miller – did brilliantly and his performance between the sticks deserved better. He showed great composure, pulling off some tricky saves and was also superb coming off his line, ending multiple Easington attacks.
Scoop Rating: 4/10 – Bassett lacked punch and desire all game and Paul Burke's frustration wasn't surprising. Despite having numerous opportunities to extend their lead in the first half, Bassett allowed Easington back into the game and were thankful the final whistle came when it did.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Sunday 20th September 2020 at 14:51