Rylands Way, 10th November 2007
For the fourth game in five, Wootton Bassett Town fell to defeat, slumping to a 2-0 reverse at the hands of Wessex League side Laverstock & Ford in the Wilts Senior Cup.
It was a rather anonymous and disappointing performance from Bassett, despite the fact they created a number of chances in front of goal.
After Elliot Wykes doubled the visitors' lead with over twenty minutes left, Bassett failed to find that extra gear in order to get themselves back in the game, producing just one further chance.
Bassett's start was sluggish at best, with a ferocious strike from Steve Haugh nearly producing the first goal for the visitors inside two minutes. Sean Purcell though made a fine save, tipping wide after Wykes' corner had fell to Haugh.
Ten minutes later, Wayne Sale set Declan McGregor through down the left and he shot from a tight angle, which Purcell again did well to parry away.
Following a swift one-two down the right wing between Matty Bennett and Steve Yeardley, Dennis King came close for Bassett but his acrobatic strike from 15 yards sailed just wide of the left post.
The visitors should then have took the lead 28 minutes in. A sweeping counter attack down the right opened up the Bassett defence. The ball was squared inside to an unmarked Graham Mankin, who struck first time from close range but Richie Saunders was able to get his body in the way to prevent the ball from crossing the line.
Saunders himself then had two efforts cleared off the line at the other end. Eight minutes before the break he rose to meet an in-swinging Nathan Perkins corner only to see it headed off the line and out for another corner.
Bennett took the subsequent set-piece, striking it low, and Saunders was able to get a shot off from the edge of the area but it was again blocked just before crossing the line. The rebound fell to King but he could only head over from six yards amongst a crowd of players.
The deadlock was broken by Declan McGregor two minutes before half time. A long, hopeful ball over the top caught out the Bassett defence and McGregor beat the onrushing Purcell to the ball, poked it past him and tapped into the open net.
Trailing by a goal didn't seem to inspire or instil a sense of urgency for Bassett at the start of the second half and it was Laverstock & Ford who looked most likely to score the game's second goal.
On the hour mark Lee Morse failed to head clear Sale's cross from the right wing, the ball falling to Wykes. From the left corner of the box, the tricky midfielder tried poking past Purcell, who had came off his line but failed to win the ball, but could only hit just wide of the right post.
In the end, it was an extremely questionable decision from assistant referee Craig Whitehouse that led to the second goal. The linesman adjudged Purcell to have handled the ball outside his box, despite being slightly behind play.
However, after a lengthy discussion with his colleague in the middle, neither a yellow nor a red card was produced for the Bassett 'keeper, connoting that Purcell was in fact innocent of any wrongdoing.
McGregor struck the resulting free kick straight at the wall with a poor effort, but the ricochet fell fortuitously for his team-mate Wykes. He made no mistake, swinging his left foot at the ball and driving it low into the bottom right corner.
Bassett could only conjure up one chance of note afterwards, a chance which again was cleared off the line after beating 'keeper Andrew Jackson. This time though it was King being the one who was denied as his powerful header from a Perkins corner was controlled on the line and hacked clear.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Nathan Perkins – needs to invest in more children after a quality display following a week probably full of little sleep after becoming a dad last Saturday. Committed in the tackle and composed on the ball; his corners also produced good chances, which weren't converted.
Scoop Rating: 5/10 – Bassett appeared flat and were at nowhere near their best. They failed to get the ball on the deck and play, which resulted in a number of turnovers of possession. Bassett also failed to get to grips with their opponents when they were on the counter attack. Something that could have resulted in the score being bigger than it was.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38