The Rec, 26th December 2007
Paul Burke endured a very frustrating Boxing Day watching his extremely young charges tumble to a 4-0 defeat at Winterbourne United.
The frustration reared it's head before kick off as 'keeper Sean Purcell pulled out on the morning of the match, meaning a heavily depleted squad became even more so.
With Chris Mills forced, not for the first time during his spell at the club, it was the old scenario that has occurred many a time this season as square pegs were once again slotted into round holes at no fault of the manager.
Despite a sprightly start to the game, Bassett were dealt the first crushing blow 16 minutes in when Scott Cameron squared inside from the left for Mitch Tippin to hammer home from 15-yards.
Winterbourne appeared – despite the final score-line – not to be a far greater side than their opponents. They themselves were fortunate not to have conceded before the first 30 minutes had passed by.
With 25 gone Matty Bennett's trickery put James Mainstone on his backside before the winger played a simple pass inside to Phil Tearle. The youngster cleverly dummied a shot, forcing his marker to over pursue, creating a shooting window. However, with his left foot he could only put the ball an inch or two wide of the near post from a low effort.
Four minutes later, after appearing to be headed nowhere John Magani slipped his way between two tacklers before playing a neat one-two with Richie Saunders. The return pass from Saunders afforded the forward the space to send a low 25-yard drive towards goal but a deflection on the way carried it wide.
Then came the second, four minutes before half time.
Winterbourne were the better team at this point, no doubt, but Bassett appeared to be holding their own as they were doing enough to foil attacks from the hosts. They dominated possession but whenever the ball entered the final third it was normally hastily dealt with by the Bassett back four.
Not this time. A mix up between Jonny Aitkenhead and Scott Large caused a corner to be conceded. Cameron swung it in and Neil Ward headed in unmarked at the far post after easily losing the attention's of his marker.
Two minutes later Jimmy Potts had the chance to extend the lead to three going into half time. For the only time in the match the potent forward evaded his marker after he was set free by a Cameron through pass. Mills slipped whilst trying to come out to the ball and Potts therefore went for the lob but could only place the ball inches over.
Amends were made for the miss though in the 50th minute as another error was capitalised upon. Dan Luton's free kick from the deep was flicked on and Mills came out to punch away at the left post but did not connect fully. The ball fell into Mark Totterdell's lap for the easiest of finishes for the midfielder.
Mills pulled off a fine save in the 54th minute when he dived to his left to tip away a low, long range drvie from Tippin.
He could do nothing to deny Tippin his second and Winterbourne an unassailable lead three minutes later though.
Potts weaved his way in between two defenders after collecting a throw in the left corner before squaring to the midfielder, who provided a neat finish, dinking the ball into the top corner with the outside of his right boot from 12 yards.
The game could arguably have taken a different course though had Bassett took two great chances early in each half. A 1-0 lead was prevented by a flying save from Tom Shepherd in the fifth minute as he parried away a ferociously hit 15-yard volley by Tearle after a Steve Yeardley free kick was headed into the danger zone.
Then Bennett came close to cutting the hosts' lead to 2-1 three minutes into the second period. He cut in from the right before opening fire from 30-yards. His effort beat Shepherd but didn't dip enough, finding its way over off of the top of the crossbar.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Rich Gee – solid in defence, allowing the potent strike partnership of Cameron and Potts to get merely a sniff at getting their names on the score-sheet. A committed performance for the entire 90 minutes.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – It wasn't so much a poor performance, just the fact that a very young side were outclassed by a team riding high in the league and scoring plenty of goals along the way.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38