Rylands Way, 20th October 2007
There's still a way to go. Old Woodstock Town, fifth place before the match began, are what Bassett need to beat if they are to inch their way back up the Division One West table.
Instead, the Oxfordshire side ground out a 2-1 victory and were aided by the sending off of Shaun Terry, Prolific in his opening two games in blue and yellow, but silent and frustrated in this one, which resulted in him seeing red three minutes from the end.
From the start, Bassett were under heavy pressure as Jack Dunmall sliced wide from a promising position after Matt Taylor had fluffed his effort from Nick Thorne's low cross on nine minutes.
The opener came just eight minutes later, courtesy of Matty Bennett being caught in possession and a quick, swift counter attack. Thorne made the tackle and set free Mark Tattersall down the left. Tattersall looked as though it would be him that would score, but Jonny Aitkenhead produced a fine saving tackle. From this though the ball took an unfortunate bounce and Taylor tapped in.
A minute later a poor Nathan Perkins touch created an opening for Tom Roberts, who shot on the bounce from distance, producing a fine tip around the right post by John Haines.
Thorne whipped in the resulting corner, which was met by a free header from Ben Thomas at the far post but the large centre half headed inches over.
With 20 minutes on the clock, Bassett finally produced an opening. Bennett collected a pass from Martin Thompson inside his own half and set off on a mazy run down the right before cutting in. He struck with his left foot from 20 yards, forcing Alan Foster to tip inches wide.
The tip reduced the ball to a trickle-like pace and Terry had the opportunity to run in and poke home but decided not to take the gamble.
The action moved back to in and around the goal Bassett were defending from then until half time. On the half hour, Dunmall saw a glancing header from another Thorne corner go across the face of goal before Haines was forced into another fine save seven minutes later.
James Keeble played into Taylor's feet and he took the ball away from Perkins before firing from 25-yards on the bounce. Like with Roberts' effort earlier though, Haines was able to get a glove to the ball and guide it around the post.
From the corner, Thomas was again allowed to have a free run at the ball, the third time such a thing had occurred, but headed an inch over at the far post.
Four minutes after the restart, the visitors were almost gifted a second when an under hit Steve Yeardley pass was pounced upon by Roberts. The winger took the ball to the byline before cutting back to Dunmall but he could only head onto the crossbar.
Bennett then equalised on 66 minutes with a somewhat fortuitous goal. He cut in from the left, and sent in a low cross from the deep. Yeardley did enough to put off Foster, who had gone down to parry away and the ball nestled into the bottom right corner.
The deadlock, as happens often with Bassett, lasted no time at all though; 120 seconds to be exact. Old Woodstock caught Bassett on the break and a fluffed Thorne cross fell to Tattersall, who smashed a drive from 30-yards over Haines' head and just in off the crossbar.
The level of sportsmanship between the two sides then began to deteriorate rapidly. With twenty minutes left, Taylor came in with a ferocious, late tackle on Yeardley and somehow only received yellow.
Five minutes later Terry found himself in the book for persistent fouling, with Keeble also finding himself cautioned minutes earlier.
With Bassett still pushing, they were left exposed at the back on a couple of occasions and Tattersall and Dunmall both squandered chances to bury the game.
All hopes of grabbing a point were quashed for the hosts when Terry received a straight red after raising an elbow to Thomas after the defender had fouled the Bassett front man; Chris Mills was also cautioned after expressing his opinion of the referee one time too many.
Scoop's Man of the Match: John Haines – wasn't at fault for the two goals conceded and pulled off two fine saves in the first half to keep Bassett in the match.
Scoop Rating: 5/10 – It wasn't a performance worthy of a winner as Old Woodstock were markedly the better side. Up front, Lee Stoddart and Shaun Terry were rendered ineffective whilst the midfield were given the run-around at times by their opponents. Bassett were never able to maintain possession for sustained periods, leading to them having barely a handful of chances in front of goal.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38