M Bennett, N Hall
Wootton Bassett Town somehow stole a point off reigning champions Winterbourne United as the two sides drew 2-2.
Bassett played the worst they have played all season in the opening 45 minutes and were lucky to only concede two before Nathan Hall's header just before the half offered Bassett a lifeline.
The visitors took the game to Winterbourne in the second half and, after Matty Bennett's goal had pulled the sides level, could have gone on and won.
Steve Yeardley gifted the hosts the lead six minutes in as his wayward backpass was well out of James Domm's reach and settled into the bottom left corner. The Bassett captain was under some pressure from Scott Cameron but had enough time to clear the ball away for a throw in rather than play back to his 'keeper.
Eleven minutes later Neil Stovold headed onto the bar as Bassett failed to deal with a long throw in before Cameron doubled the lead for Winterbourne on 19 minutes.
James Mainstone's cross from the right wasn't dealt with as the Bassett defence allowed it to bounce and Cameron took advantage, firing home first time from 15 yards.
Winterbourne continued to take advantage of their half asleep opponents as Mainstone headed just wide on 23 minutes before an unmarked Nick Waters headed over from a Cameron corner.
On the stroke of half time Cameron breached the defence once more and tried rounding Domm. The 'keeper did enough to force him wide though and his weak effort was cleared away by Scott Large.
A minute later Large's pass to Bennett in the right corner created Hall's goal, which never seemed like coming. Bennett crossed first time and Hall was there at the far post to easily nod home.
Danny Heath replaced an injured Large at half time before Gee was booked nine minutes into the second period.
The goal seemed to revitalise Bassett as Hall nearly scored again with his head from a Steve Shaw cross but this time the ball was cleared off the line.
Just before the hour Bennett crossed to an unmarked Paul Crabtree but the midfielder's first time effort sailed over when he had time for a touch.
With 25 minutes left Mark King came on for Marcus Neal as Paul Burke went with three up front to try salvage at least a point; the ploy worked. In the 69th minute, King played a ball into the corner for Shaw who cut the ball from the byline and Bennett headed home to equalise.
A minute beforehand Tom Blake had headed just over from 10 yards following another testing Cameron cross.
The game then really opened up with Heath coming close with a 25-yard half volley before Bennett forced a diving save from an outstretched Tom Sheppard.
Jack Burton then came with an inch of winning the game for the hosts two minutes from the end as his looping effort from 20-yards sailed just over after a ball over the top caught the Bassett back three napping.
Substitute Mark Allen's cross fell to an unmarked Blake at the far post with seconds remaining but Domm was able to smother at his feet to ensure a somewhat luckily won point.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Rich Gee – by far Bassett's best player on the pitch; was composed at the back and kept Scott Cameron under control. Was commanding in the air limiting the number of chances the hosts were able to create in the second period.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – the first half was the worst 45 minutes of football Bassett have played all season but Hall's goal revitalised Bassett and the performance in the second half was far, far better. That goal could turn out to be the most important of Bassett's season.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Monday 21st September 2020 at 09:20
M Bennett, N Hall