New Road, 3rd November 2007
Two first half goals were enough to condemn Wootton Bassett Town to their second league defeat in a row against Old Woodstock Town.
The loss sees Bassett slip further adrift of the current pacesetters, with the uphill struggle for a top three finish becoming even steeper despite the games in hand Paul Burke's side hold thanks to their extended FA Cup run earlier in the campaign.
Throughout the game, Bassett created little against a stout Old Woodstock defence. With only one up front for the best part of an hour, the hosts' job was made easier despite the presence of Matty Bennett and Shaun Terry on the wings. The pair were never able to get into a groove though and their production was minimal for the entire 90 minutes.
Despite having more play in front of goal though, Old Woodstock were only able to produce half chances in the opening half hour.
Jack Dunmall shot straight at Daryl Simms on the turn following a Nick Thorne corner seven minutes in before a low drive from Thorne after the Bassett defence stood off him fell well wide.
Simms was then forced into another comfortable save from Ben Thomas following a low Thorne corner with 18 minutes on the clock.
Then just before the half hour Bassett were caught on the break. The ball switched from the left to Dunmall, who cut inside right back Jonny Aitkenhead before firing low from just outside the box. Simms – recently signed from Shrivenham – was forced to dive down to his right and tip wide at full stretch to tip around the post.
The next two chances Bassett's hosts created though were converted, both coming from Bassett mental errors.
Twelve minutes before half time, Graeme Little tripped Thorne in the left corner. The resulting free kick was whipped in by the victim of the tackle and Thomas headed home at the front post from all of six yards.
Seven minutes later Lee Cook added the second, aided by Bassett's slowness in getting out after clearing from the previous attack. A long ball was knocked back in over the top from the hosts' backline, Dunmall flicked on and Cook lashed a first time shot into the bottom left corner from the edge of the area.
To be fair to Bassett, their calls for offside were turned down by the linesman, who later admitted that he had got the decision wrong, but their was no doubting the quality of the finish.
Bassett responded well in the second period, however were unable to penetrate the Old Woodstock defence regularly enough in order to get back into the game. In fact, the Oxfordshire side's 'keeper Alan Foster was not forced into a save of note throughout the entire duration of the match.
That's not to say Bassett should not have at least scored one though. Just before the hour, an unmarked Dennis King rose to meet an in-swinging free kick from Terry at the far post. However, King failed to connect properly with his header and the ball sailed wide, much to the frustration of the Irishman, who was a second half substitute.
King was involved in Bassett's other notable opportunity. In the 67th minute, Terry squared to him on the edge of the box and King fired low across goal.
The ball would have been headed for a comfortable save from Foster had Andy White not raced in to redirect the ball back across goal, wrong-footing the 'keeper. However, White could not do enough to turn it in, in the end hitting inches wide of the right post.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Richie Saunders – after a prolonged absence due to injury, Saunders came back with a battling, committed display in the heart of the midfield. He was a presence going forward and won the majority of 50-50 balls he went in for.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – A good display but again it wasn't enough. Bassett's chances were limited thanks to stout defending and both Old Woodstock goals came following mental mistakes, which need to be eliminated if points are to be racked up.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38