Rylands Way, 28th August 2007
It was the same old story again for Wootton Bassett Town as their lacklustre derby clash ended 1-1 after poor finishing once again denied Bassett an extra pair of points.
Despite having the lion's share of chances throughout the game, only one was converted before the clinical Craig Wall frustrated Bassett (how many times has that been written too) with a 72nd minute equaliser.
Matty Bennett almost provided the home side with the perfect start though. Martin Thompson switched play from right to left and Nathan Perkins delivered a perfectly placed crossfield ball to the winger from inside his own half. After allowing the ball to take a bounce, Bennett struck ferociously from 20 yards but was denied by a fine tip over the bar from Stewart Thompson.
In what was an eerie start to the game – neither side seemed capable of stringing together more than three passes as numerous ball went astray and mistakes were made frequently – a poor Rich Gee touch nearly gifted Pewsey the opener quarter of an hour in.
Tom Ritchie pounced on the loose ball before playing through ex-Bassett man Carl Marsh with a timely reserve pass. Marsh cut onto his left foot before striking a low effort from just outside the box but failed to find the target.
Three minutes later and Ritchie came somewhat closer: Phil Penning chested Harry Hambridge's down to Pewsey's lone forward and he struck a sizzling first time drive across goal and inches wide of the far post.
Bennett continued to be a thorn in the Pewsey defence's side at the other end. Midway through the first period he latched onto a John Magani through ball in the right corner before whipping a cross in, which evaded everyone bar Richie Saunders at the far post. The midfielder, who scored his first Bassett goal at the weekend, seemed surprised to be on the end of the cross though and his weak poke at goal from eight yards was comfortably smothered away.
With half an hour gone, Bennett finally saw a cross of his put into the back of the net. After cutting inside Hambridge, he crossed in with his left foot, finding Andy White who sent a looping header over Thompson and into the back of the net.
Their roles reversed two minutes after the break but this time Bennett could only find the bar with a slightly mis-hit effort after White chested down a Thompson cross to him on the edge of the area.
Chances continued to fall to the hosts but no further damage to the scoreboard. Firstly Bennett struck a Saunders crossfield ball wide moments after finding the bar before Magani slipped White through in behind the defence but his left foot shot was blocked at his feet by Thomspon.
On the hour White rose to head down a Bennett cross to Paul Crabtree but he shot wide with a weak first time effort from 12 yards.
Neil Dix and Dennis King were then brought on to liven things up at the high end of the pitch but with Magani coming off, the lack of pace up front became evident as Pewsey were able to comfortably deal with the high balls the pair of Dix and White were receiving.
Dix had Bassett's last clear cut chance moments after he came on. Nathan Perkins played a low corner to him at the front post and the lanky frontrunner rolled his man before seeing his shot on the turn parried away by Thompson.
Wall, who had been relatively quiet after coming on as a half time substitute, then netted the equaliser eighteen minutes from time. Pewsey broke down the left before Wall fired home from a tight angle with a powerful left footed shot.
He almost repeated his trick a minute later when Ritchie flicked on a high ball and, after getting goalside of Gee, the forward went for a looping effort but just failed to find the target.
Pewsey continued to confidently come at Bassett. With twelve minutes remaining, Bassett were thankful to captain Steve Yeardley, who headed Ritchie's looping effort of the line after 'keeper Sean Purcell failed to punch a high ball to safety.
The final chance of the match fell to Chris Oram, who headed over Richie Carter's deep free kick after rising above Gee.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Matty Bennett – provided yet another assist, this time for White's goal and should really have had more than just the one; Bennett was also unlucky not to find the back of the net, being denied firstly by a fine Thompson save and then by the bar.
Scoop Rating: 5/10 – Bassett seemed lacking of confidence in this derby encounter and it showed as errant passing littered the display and once again the finishing was poor.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38