M Bennett, D King
Rylands Way, 13th November 2007
It certainly wasn't pretty, but ninety minutes and two goals later, Wootton Bassett Town had their fourth set of three points in the bag this season.
Bottom of the table Cirencester United certainly weren't the best team Bassett have faced all season but they provided a test, albeit a slightly less rigorous one than those posed by the teams Paul Burke wants his side to be around come May.
The victory itself was relatively comfortable with Sean Purcell not once troubled by a shot struck in anger by the opposition. Yet it was far harder penetrating their defence at the other end.
Bassett had a monopoly of chances but only two were converted. The first coming quarter of an hour in: a beautiful strike from Dennis King that screamed into the top right corner after Lee Morse's cross from the deep had first been flicked on by Richie Saunders to Phil Tearle, who saw his header blocked.
King made no mistake as the rebound fell perfectly for him to swing his right boot at and rifle another wonder strike in.
For the following 74 minutes though it was chance after chance after chance falling to waste.
Ten minutes after giving his side the lead, King was presented with another fantastic opportunity after neat ground play down the right by Tearle and Saunders opened up the defence. The latter squared first time to the forward but his side-foot effort from 15 yards presented an easy save for Dean Dixon.
On 28 minutes Bennett went past Matthew Garaghty with ease and dinked the ball in with his left foot for an unmarked Saunders. The midfield couldn't do the business though from eight yards, having timed his run a fraction early and headed into the palms of Dixon.
The manner in which Bassett were creating some of their chances was pleasing, as highlighted by that which fell to Bennett six minutes prior to the break. Saunders set a Steve Yeardley header back to the winger, who cut inside his man from the right touchline before firing with his left from 20 yards. But the ball sailed inches over the crossbar.
The Cirencester defence frustrated Bassett early in the second half with the hosts limited to three free kicks that came close. Firstly Nathan Perkins forced a parry from Dixon before Lee Morse and King both narrowly failed to find the target from similar positions – both on the left hand side of the box.
Saves were forced from substitute Lee Stoddart after a quickly taken free kick and then by King, who forced Dixon to tip around his left post after a low 25 yard drive, but a second goal was still not forthcoming.
Finally it came with 90 minutes on the clock. The set up was provided by two substitutes – Stu Hemsley and Chris Mills – with the simplest of finishes provided by Bennett for just his fifth of the year.
Hemsley threaded a perfectly weighted through ball into the left corner, which Mills chased down and cut back across goal from the byline. The ball flew across the face of goal to the far post where Bennett tapped in from six yards after beating 'keeper and marker to the ball.
The win carries Bassett three places up in the standing, which should provide a much needed boost of confidence.
One supplied by a not so pretty, yet efficient, display.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Lee Morse – dictated the flow of the game from his central midfield position, acting as an effective bridge between the back four and the front two. With his calmness and ability to keep the ball at the feet of Bassett team-mates, he forced the visitors to really chase the game for 90 minutes.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – Bassett were a class above their struggling opponents but this is not really reflected by the scoreline. Whilst the victory was extremely pleasing the performance could still have been improved on. They shouldn't have needed to wait until the last minute of the match to kill the game off.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38
M Bennett, D King