S Terry (2), L Stoddart
Rylands Way, 6th October 2007
Finally Wootton Bassett Town are back on the winning track. Winless since September 8th, things have not looked promising very recently, but aided by a superb debut from loanee Shaun Terry and a resurgent Lee Stoddart, a 3-1 win over Clanfield means Bassett can finally start clawing their way back up the Division One West table.
A little cheekiness eight minutes in got them on their way. Clanfield 'keeper Chris Brain fluffed a backpass and Stoddart ran in to steal the ball away from his feet. The Bassett forward knowingly guided the ball around Brain with his hand before crossing in for an unmarked Terry, who headed home easily from six yards.
Stoddart then went from provider to finisher, grabbing his long awaited first goal of the season 17 minutes in. Martin Thompson switched play from the right touchline to Chris Mills, who curled a cross-field ball from the halfway line into the danger area and Stoddart – bereft of marker – headed into the bottom left corner from 15 yards.
The centre forward continued to be at the heart of the Bassett attack as he set Matty Bennett loose with a well weighted through ball midway through the half. Bennett easily latched onto the ball but his second touch just got away from him and Brain was able to parry away at his feet.
Twice before the break Bassett received let-offs at the other end. Firstly, 15 minutes before the half, silky skill from Eddy Everett allowed him to sidestep Steve Yeardley with ease before he fired just wide of the left post from 20-yards.
Seven minutes later Alan Rogers sent a low cross in across the face of goal and none of the Bassett defence reacted to the ball, with Sean Purcell staying rooted to his goalline, but Everett and Marc Connelly failed to provide the finishing touch.
Despite taking their foot off the pedal slightly before half time, Bassett flew out the gates to start the second period.
In the opening minute, Bennett saw a shot parried before a half-clearance fell to Dennis King, who struck just over from the left-hand edge of the box.
King went close again in the 50th minute after a Terry cross from the right touchline, before Bennett raced onto the Irishman's through ball but was denied from 12 yards out.
In the 55th minute a Bassett counter attack saw them outnumber Clanfield three-on-two. Bennett raced down on goal before squaring to Stoddart on the edge of the box. He went for a chip from 18-yards but caused Brain no problems whatsoever as he failed to grab a second.
They finally found the net again a minute later though with Terry bagging a second. Brain was adjudged to have stepped outside his box when making a kick and from the resultant set-piece Terry sent a low left-footed shot around the wall and into the bottom left corner.
The proverbial foot then once again eased off the accelerator. A minute after making the lead three, Dean Barker headed just over from a Rogers cross after rising above Yeardley.
Bennett had another opportunity thwarted by Brain from point blank range after a neat Terry flick from the touchline put him through.
The deficit was then reduced in the 69th minute as Barker pounced, firing in from 12 yards after Bassett failed to clear from Steve Olphert's free kick in the left corner.
The three goal cushion should have been reinstalled with eleven minutes left as substitute Neil Dix played a superb left-footed cross into the path of an unmarked Terry but the debutant slid in and hit over from six yards.
The visitors continued to probe at the other end with Olphert and James Brighton both narrowly missing the target before Bennett had another chance to put the game to bed three minutes from time.
Thompson thumped the ball clear from deep in his own half and Bennett picked up the loose ball after Chris Hunt failed to head clear. The winger shot low from 20 yards, beat Brain but was denied by the upright.
Barker failed to convert the last chance of the game though, curling an effort just over after Brighton had set a free kick from the deep to him and the comfortable scoreline was preserved.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Martin Thompson – a tower of strength at the back, sweeping brilliantly. Never lost an aerial challenge and made two timely saving tackles, one in each half.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 – in the end it was a comfortable victory but Bassett had the chance to have the game dead and buried by the hour mark yet failed to finish off their chances. Even with John Magani missing, Bassett threatened early and often though, which is an extremely positive sign.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38
S Terry (2), L Stoddart