Rylands Way, 8th September 2007
A month after lasting tasting victory in the Hellenic League Division One West, Dennis King supplied Wootton Bassett Town's second three point haul of the season, scoring the only goal in a tight 1-0 victory over a plucky Letcombe side.
The powerful centre forward unleashed a powerful shot on the turn into the top left corner 17 minutes in to seal the deal as Bassett managed to see off a prolonged period of play in which Letcombe threatened at the back end of the second half.
It was the first clear cut chance of the game that supplied the winner as Martin Thompson played the ball into King's feet with the forward's back to goal. King first touch was a slight chip and he pivoted on his right foot before smashing home a left footed drive from 18 yards.
Three minutes later Steve Yeardley and Paul Patel failed to dispossess Billy Warne and he shot from the edge of the box only for Sean Purcell to tip over.
King then had a chance at a second just after the half hour. A sublime cross-field pass from Jeremy Newton picked out Scott Large, who was filling in for the absent Matty Bennett on the right, before Large whipped in a left-footed cross of his own. King was on the end of the ball at the far post, and struck a first time volley that fell just wide of the far post.
Both teams continued to create chances in what was a free flowing first half. Eight minutes before the break a Richard Claydon corner found an unmarked Sean Webb at the far post and the defender shot low beneath Purcell only for Paul Crabtree to sweep the ball out off the line.
A minute later a deep Thompson free kick went unchallenged over the visitors' defence to King but with only Stuart Game to beat he could not finish, hitting weakly into Game's hands.
Bassett thought they had a second seconds before the break when Large left Simon Tabor for dead down the right and threaded through Andy White. White struck first time from 12 yards but his thunderous effort found only the side netting.
Eleven minutes after the restart and again Large found himself in the thick of some impressive build up play. A neat one-two down the right allowed White to thread the youngster through and, unselfishly, Large squared across goal to an unmarked King after the move had shot the defence to pieces. However King didn't connect properly and Game was able to save easily on the dive from the 10-yard effort.
From then on the visitors' defence tightened up, limiting Bassett to a pair of half chances from Adam Whitefield and a long range effort that hardly troubled Game from substitute Stu Hemsley.
With quarter of an hour left Bassett were again let off the hook when Billy Warner headed wide at the far post despite no defender being within five yards of him and there being little distance between him and the goal. This all from another testing Claydon corner that Webb had glanced on.
Then with four minutes left the impressive Lyle Gifford got out his box of tricks to round Patel and Rich Gee, leaving him with only Yeardley to beat. It appeared the Bassett captain hacked him down inside the box but referee Smith thought differently, waving away the penalty appeals and booking the winger for a dive.
The last moments were successfully negotiated by the much changed hosts – only five players who started the FA Cup match with Bracknell started this game. Burke was so stretched that he had to call upon Under 18s captain Jonny Aitkenhead, who experienced his first taste of Hellenic League football for the last ten minutes.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Adam Whitefield – dominated in the midfield engine room, letting little get past him. Edged out Dennis King, who – as always – put himself about up front, and Scott Large, who stepped up and did a great job filling in for Matty Bennett.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 – a good enough performance to get back to winning ways in the league. A little luck helped secure victory but overall it was a very workmanlike display.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38