S Yeardley (2)
Rylands Way, 2nd September 2007
Not content with one upset victory in the FA Cup – a victory against a local rival no less – Wootton Bassett Town produced another to advance to the First Qualifying Round of the world's greatest cup competition. Bracknell Town were the victims this time as the Southern League Division One South & West side went down 2-1.
Bassett were never in awe of their opposition – a team plying their trade two divisions higher – and took the game to them early on, resulting in a 15th minute lead.
Paul Patel looped a shot over from range on five minutes before Richie Saunders saw a back post header palmed away by Michael Parkin after a pin-point Nathan Perkins corner seven minutes later.
With quarter of an hour gone Steve Yeardley went one better, firing in from ten yards after a low, in-swinging Matty Bennett corner was allowed to run across the face of goal to the far post.
Bassett were thankful to the frame of the goal in the 21st minute as a powerful Billy Matthews header crashed back off the bar after he connected with a Jermaine Lowe corner at the right post.
The visitors continued surging forward in search of the equaliser and came close through Neil John, who found the side netting with a low 15-yard drive after Graham Lewis had beat Chris Mills down the left and cut the ball back.
Another let off came with half an hour gone: Graham Lewis helped the ball on and John found himself goalside of Yeardley with only Sean Purcell to beat. He went for the lob from 20-yards which ended up inches wide of the left post.
A minute later John Magani was gifted a great chance after a woeful backpass from Ian Brookes. However Magani hit a 12-yard effort straight at Parkin despite being one-on-one.
The chances continued to flow before the break – John sent a free header at the front post wide from a Lowe corner before Lee Morse forced a fine save from Parkin with a curling 20-yard free kick that was acrobatically tipped over despite it looking as though the ball was headed for the top left corner.
Bracknell – winless in their first four league games – came out firing at the start of the second half as Bassett defender their lead somewhat nervously. The visitors nearly caught the hosts out in the 56th minute, outnumbering Bassett three to two, but Jordan Kiffin sent Lewis' through ball straight at Purcell.
Two minutes later Chris Mills was caught in possession by Gavin Taylor deep inside the Bassett half and Kiffin fed the ball to Lewis, who fired into the bottom right corner from 12 yards with relative ease to tie things up.
The equaliser didn't incite the dropping of heads from Bassett as they continued to find ways in which to frustrate Bracknell.
Thirteen minutes from time Bennett controlled a cross-field ball perfectly before rolling Ross Watson and he set free down the right. From a tight angle he unleashed a powerful effort across goal that had Parkin beat. However it agonisingly flew just past the left post.
The game was won eight minutes later with the award of a dubious penalty for an unintentional Watson handball, that appeared to hit the defender's shoulder. Bracknell were livid with the decision, which resulted in Taylor and Joel Havermans going into their book for their protests.
Yeardley couldn't care one bit about whether the decision was a correct one though and dispatched the spot kick coolly into the bottom right corner. Parkin guessed correctly but was beat by the perfectly placed penalty.
The next ten minutes were as nerve-wracking as any ever at Rylands Way with Bracknell having two great chances to get back on level terms.
Firstly a neat clip over the top of the defence from Damien Smith put John in behind the defence down the right flank. However, instead of advancing further with the ball he went for a long range lob that fell comfortably into Purcell's hands.
Then with the final chance of the game Watson curled in a free kick from the left that Smith rose and met with a glancing header at the front post. All it needed was a touch as it sailed across goal but thankfully for Bassett the ball left the field of play without one.
Moments earlier Magani had another one-on-one opening go begging with the chance of putting a seal on the game. Good combination play from Neil Dix and Bennett set up the opportunity but Parkin smothered at the forward's feet.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Steve Yeardley – as always the Bassett captain was composed and clinical with his defending, and he showed his great finishing skills too with a real poacher's finish for the first before converting – as ever – from the penalty spot.
Scoop Rating: 10/10 – another fantastic FA Cup display. Bassett were not frightened at the prospect of going up against a team from two divisions higher and really took the game to Bracknell. The defending was solid, the midfield energetic and outstanding both going forward and coming back whilst the front two of Magani and Dennis King (who was replaced by Neil Dix midway through the second half) frustrating for the Robins' defence. A truly complete performance.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38
S Yeardley (2)