With strikers Nathan Hall, Andy White and Steve Shaw all absent Bassett supporters were questioning before the game where the goals were going to come from and so it proved on a frustrating afternoon in Oxfordshire.
Bassett started brightly and could have been in front in the very first minute when Chris Mills turned his man on the left hand side of the 18 yard box, following a ball over from Matty Bennett, to find himself one and one with keeper Darren Mole but Mills fired his shot way over.
Bassett continued to press forward and had strong claims for a penalty when Matty Bennett found himself clear of the Old Woodstock defence only to have his ankles clipped; unfortunately referee Ian Whelan waved play on, much to the annoyance of the Bassett contingent.
Bassett had a lucky escape of their own at the other end a couple of minutes later when Nick Thorne made a speedy run down the right flank and fired in a hard cross come shot which was turned in by Andrew Smith. Much to Bassett's relief the assistant referee had a flagged raised and the goal was wiped from the slate.
Old Woodstock continued to press forward and almost opened the scoring on 17 minutes when a looping header looked like it might beat Bassett keeper James Domm, but he just managed to get a hand on it to keep it out.
Old Woodstock had another good chance a couple of minutes later when a Bassett break came to nothing and a quick long ball out from the influential Nick Neal found Ed Gilkes who shot just wide of Domm's post.
Bassett came back at Old Woodstock and Matty Bennett weaved some of his magic and chipped just over on 23 minutes. On 35 minutes Bassett had a second penalty claim denied when Chris Mills was pulled down in the box.
Bassett continued to press forward for that elusive goal. Matty Bennett was put through on 39 minutes but was only denied by the quick reactions of Woodstock keeper Darren Mole coming off his line to kick clear just before Bennett got to the ball.
Despite having the better of the first half Bassett nearly went in trailing and but for a tremendous save from keeper James Domm from a Nick Neal effort they would have done.
Playing up the slope in the second period, Bassett found themselves a goal behind ten minutes in when the ball broke to Lee Cook on the edge of the box and he fired powerfully into the Bassett net, giving Domm no chance.
Bassett responded to this set back and had a gold plated chance of their own within a minute when Matty Bennett put a ball across the six yard box and found both Mark King and Tom Messenger in a position where just one of them needed to connect for a certain goal, only for both to miss the ball completely. If ever there was a sitter missed this was it and it summed up the afternoon for the boys from Rylands Way.
Bassett continued to push forward in search of an equaliser and following a corner Richard Gee had a powerful shot saved by Woodstock keeper Mole.
It was Groundhog Day on 72 minutes when Steve Yeardley put an excellent ball into the Woodstock six-yard box and in the melee of players again no Bassett player could get a touch to put the ball in and Woodstock cleared. From the resulting corner Steve Yeardley headed just wide.
A minute later another chance fell to Chris Mills but he could not get any power on his shot from the edge of the six-yard box and keeper Mole easily gathered it.
Bassett were made to pay for all their wasted chances when on 76 minutes Old Woodstock extended their lead. Nick Thorne was once again the provider of the chance with a darting run down the right flank, and his dangerous cross was turned in by Gerrard Kelly.
It was then third time lucky for Bassett a minute from time when they were finally awarded a penalty following a deliberate handball by an Old Woodstock defender. Skipper Steve Yeardley stepped up to fire the ball into the Old Woodstock net to make it 2-1, but it was too little too late as three more points slipped through the net and any hope of a top three place now looks a tall ask for Bassett.
Scoop's Dad's Man of the Match: Steve Yeardley – whilst Richard Gee, James Domm and Robin Greenway all had good games in Bassett's defence and Matty Bennett dazzled in spells, skipper Yeardley shone above all the rest and I have yet to see a better defender in the West Division this season.
Scoop's Dad's Rating: 7/10 – can't really fault the majority of the defence but side let down badly by lack of clinical finishing in front of goal.
Credit: Mark Smedley
Last modified on Monday 21st September 2020 at 09:22