Dennis King (3), Lee Stoddart (2)
Spencer Stadium, December 1st 2007
In recent years Spencer Stadium – the home of Banbury United and, formerly, of Hook Norton - hasn't been the home to many happy memories for Wootton Bassett Town. That all changed though as a Dennis King hat trick and Lee Stoddart brace guided Paul Burke's side to a 5-0 victory over Banbury United Reserves.
In fact, both players should have taken a share of the match ball, but some inconsistent finishing prevented Stoddart from doing so.
His goal six minutes in should have been his second of the game but his free header minutes earlier bounced off the turf and then off the bar and over following a King cross. Instead his first came from a simple tap in at the far post from a low Dennis King shot that appeared to be headed wide.
Bar one Banbury chance which saw a double effort blocked, it was one-way traffic for the rest of the first half with Bassett piling on the pressure. However, the chances created were not converted.
Neil Matthews, in his first team debut, fired wide first time from 12-yards after a King cross. King forced an acrobatic tip around the post with an effort on the bounce from 20 plus yards. And Stoddart gave the linesman's arm a fairly rigorous workout as he was continually flagged for offside by playing off the shoulder of the last man.
The teams seemed headed to be going into the half time break with a solitary goal the difference between them.
King, though, on the stroke of the referee's whistle added a second. Hemsley – who was in superb form - chipped the ball in over the top of the left back and the Irishman fired a ferocious effort without taking a touch into the bottom left corner.
The second half followed much the same course as the opening 45 minutes: the visitors produced virtually all the chances of note, yet were unable to convert them until late. Late came a flurry of goals.
Before the victory was sealed though, times were frustrating for Paul Burke and his side. It appeared as though the game would never be killed off.
In the opening six minutes of the period, Stoddart and Chris Mills saw similar chances fall to them. Two set pieces – one a Mills corner and the other a King free kick – were half cleared and fell to the pair 25-yards out. Both struck fierce first time drives but both ended up sailing straight at the Banbury 'keeper.
On 64 minutes, substitute Danny Heath was set free down the left by a sublime cross-field pass from King. After advancing on goal, Heath noticed the 'keeper off his line and went for a lob from 25-yards but could only locate the crossbar as the ball deflected over off of it.
Five minutes later Hemsley and King combined with a neat one-two on the right, the latter being set free after the Banbury defence had been opened up. King struck from distance again, forcing an impressive diving tip around the right post.
The next time King created an opening on 76 minutes though he could not be denied. Matthews' weighted pass set him free down the right, King then cut inside, rounded the 'keeper and tapped home.
With no chance of a comeback, Banbury folded in the final ten minutes, conceding another two.
Stoddart grabbed his second with eight minutes to play. A perfectly timed run by Richie Saunders allowed the central midfielder to run onto Stoddart's through ball and he easily rounded the 'keeper before firing at goal from a tight angle. The ball appeared to be going in, but just to make sure the forward decided to guide the ball in a yard from goal.
Another fine move created the opportunity for King to grab his hat trick, which he emphatically took. This time it was Danny Heath playing the role of the initiator. His pass into Matthews was set back to King, who fired low into the bottom right corner from 20 yards.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Dennis King – clinical with his finishing, which brought about his hat trick and also created a number of other openings with his testing crosses.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 – In the end, it was an easy victory as Bassett dealt comfortably with what a battling Banbury side threw at them. The score could have resembled a cricket one though if it wasn't for a litter of offsides and missed chances. However, five goals and a clean sheet is still something to be very pleased with.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38
Dennis King (3), Lee Stoddart (2)