Matt Bennett, Chris Mills, Andy White
A cracking finish from Matty Bennett ten minutes into the second half put the seal on an emphatic 3-1 victory over Cricklade Town in a controversial derby match. The win sealed Bassett's first win over Cricklade since their rival's promotion to the Hellenic League.
An end to end opening half set the tone for the rest of the game as both sides tested each other early and often.
On six minutes Adam Smith forced James Domm into a diving save after rolling his man following a free kick just inside the Bassett half.
A minute later Vince McMackin cut in from the right before sliding through Ben Carter after drawing the attention's of the Bassett defence. Carter found himself with only Domm to beat but struck wide from 12 yards.
Chris Mills then gave Bassett the lead just before the quarter hour mark after a clinical move initiated by Robin Greenway. The defender played a through ball over the top and Mills ran onto it before coolly slotting into the bottom left corner from just inside the penalty area.
The first caution of many was shown in the 17th minute to Craig Ratcliffe after a reckless trip on Sam Lawro.
Ten minutes before the break Andy White nearly doubled the advantage after another slick Bassett move. Jeremy Newton's corner was only half cleared and Bennett picked up the pieces on the edge of the box. His little dink through the Newton allowed the winger, in only his third appearance back at Rylands Way, to drill the ball across the face of goal. White slid in but couldn't connect with the ball enough to divert it into the back of the net.
A minute later Carter's 30-yard cross come shot almost found the top corner after it had beaten Domm but luckily the ball sailed an inch left of the goal.
In the 38th minute Cricklade grabbed the equaliser. They were awarded a free kick just inside their own half even though it appeared James Townsend had fouled Mills after both had contested a 50-50 header, with the Cricklade defender coming out of the challenge the worst of the pair.
Steven Reade floated a testing ball into the box, which was flicked on to Carter at the far post. The forward fired at goal but Steve Yeardley was there to block it on the line. However Smith reacted first to the loose ball and fired home from close range.
Five minutes before the break McMackin found himself in the referee's book for a foul on Gee before White put Bassett ahead again on the stroke of the half time whistle.
The Cricklade defense was caught overplaying on the edge of their area and pressure from both Nathan Hall and Bennett allowed the latter to steal possession. Bennett then poked the ball across goal and an unmarked White ran in, beating 'keeper Elliott Jackson to the ball before tapping in from ten yards.
The second half started with Hall being booked with under a minute gone before a tweaked leg muscle ended Greenway's impressive night as he had to be replaced with Andy Hallett.
Bennett doubled Bassett's advantage with his 55th minute smash. Mills' lofted through ball down the right had White and Bennett chasing after it and the younger of the two won the foot race before smashing into the bottom left corner first time from 18 yards after the ball had set perfectly for him.
With Hall's booking and the referee's propensity for blowing his whistle, Steve Shaw replaced him on the hour mark to ensure Bassett ended the game with 11 men intact.
Four minutes later Hallett was dispossessed by Carter, leaving the forward with only Domm to beat. He tried to round the 'keeper but Domm kept his nerve and parried away at his feet.
Cricklade's frustrations at being behind then began to show as Carter and Reade were both booked for dissent within two minutes of each other.
However this didn't stop their relentless push for another goal. With 15 minutes remaining, substitute Delroy Fallon's cross-field pass picked out an unmarked Smith on the right hand side. Smith struck first time with a low drive from just outside the box but his shot inched just wide of the left upright.
Shaw then almost added a fourth in the 83rd minute after Bennett's throw took bounced in front of and over defender Alisdair Ross. Standing on the edge of the six yard box with his back to goal, Shaw had to hook the ball over himself and 'keeper Jackson. But he got underneath the ball a little too much, hooking just over. Ross was then booked a minute later for demonstrating his frustrations with Sawyers.
In injury time man of the match Sam Lawro had a chance to cap an excellent performance off with his first goal after playing White through down the left before making a darting run into the box with Cricklade exposed at the back. White cut back from the by-line to Lawro who scuffed his shot and hit over from 12 yards.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Sam Lawro â€“ controlled the game from his central midfield position and seemed to come out on top of every 50-50 challenge and was solid in the air. His passing opened up cracks in the Cricklade side, forcing them to turn their backs on goal and chase the ball most of the night.
Scoop Rating: 8/10 â€“ A workmanlike performance that was fully deserving of all three points. Cricklade were always second best as the Bassett defence handled tricky forward Ben Carter well most of the night and going forward Bassett tore apart the Cricklade defence with their direct approach.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Monday 21st September 2020 at 09:41
Matt Bennett, Chris Mills, Andy White