M Bennett, S Yeardley
How quickly things can change. After a spirited performance against Premier Division side Shrivenham in the week, Wootton Bassett Town fell crashing back down to earth as they were hung out to dry by Easington Sports, losing 4-2.
Bassett were completely outplayed and deservedly slaughtered by a side who in their last four home games have scored 19 goals but away from home are anything but special.
Moments after Steve Yeardley fired just over on two minutes, Bassett were behind when Henry Rose beat the offside trap and coolly slotted past a helpless Adam Miller after finding himself with no Bassett defender within ten yards of him.
A minute after conceding, Stu Hemsley headed straight at John Okole from a perfectly placed Matty Bennett cross.
Liam Garrett then doubled the home sides' lead with less than ten minutes gone. Ricky Johnson flicked the ball onto Garrett, who had lost Bennett, and his perfectly placed shot from the edge of the area went in off of the bar.
Johnson almost added a third midway through the half but he failed to connect properly with Adam Daley's cross despite being unmarked.
In the 28th minute Miller did well to deny Garrett who had raced through the Bassett defence but the Bassett 'keeper parried away at his feet.
However Bassett's day got even worse in the 33rd minute as Daley beat Rich Gee and slotted home from 15 yards.
Two minutes later the crossbar denied Russell Wilkins after Chris Jones redirected a Rob Calderhead free kick across the box.
Bassett pulled themselves back into the game nine minutes from half time as Hemsley was dragged down in the box; Yeardley had no problem once again from twelve yards.
Five minutes before the break Bennett was denied by a diving Okole as he tipped the Bassett forward's shot from just outside the box onto the post.
Scott Large replaced Mark King at half time, pushing Bennett up front after he started out on the right.
Johnson was booked in the 55th minute for a rather innocuous challenge before Rose almost grabbed a second but his shot from the edge of the area went across the face of goal.
With 61 minutes on the clock Johnson added a fourth for the home side when he drilled home from close range following Bassett's failure to clear a long James Hastie throw. Amid the celebrations, Garrett was booked for shoving Chris Mills.
Despite holding a comfortable advantage, Easington continued to apply pressure as Johnson came close with twenty minutes to left as his attempted lob of Miller rolled the wrong side of the post.
Lee Beavis then replaced an injured Yeardley before Bennett found the back of the net to cut the lead back to two. Paul Crabtree lifted a high ball into the box which Bennett was able to control before rolling his man and firing home left footed from 15 yards. Stu Hemsley was replaced by Sam Lawro immediately after the goal.
Wilkins' ball over the top was connected with on the half volley by Daley and raced across the face of goal before Jon Davis was booked for persistent fouling.
With five minutes to go Bennett had a great chance to grab his side a third after Hall's well weighted through ball put him through one-on-one. Bennett tried to slot the ball into the far corner but went narrowly wide, killing any hopes of a dramatic, undeserved comeback.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Nathan Hall – the best of a bad bunch but held the ball up well and created some good openings.
Scoop Rating: 3/10 – Bassett seemed to have no answer to whatever Easington threw at them and were totally outplayed. Heads dropped after the opening two goals when there were still 80 minutes to play and the side were constantly bickering at each other throughout.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Sunday 20th September 2020 at 15:02
M Bennett, S Yeardley