Flying Monk Ground, 2nd February 2008
Wootton Bassett Town's woes in front of goal continue to plague them. It seems regardless of how many chances are created in front of goal, that they just can't finish them, not for love, nor for money.
Their lack of 'end product' cost them once more as Malmesbury Victoria took advantage, winning 2-1 despite having to defend for a large portion of the game.
Their victory must have tasted even sweeter for manager Kenny Regan, for it was his first since assuming control and came against the club he left to join the Vics.
It wasn't until after the hosts had took the lead 12 minutes in though that Bassett began to apply plenty of pressure.
Jonathan Wilkins' right wing cross took a bounce off defender Phil Penning, which redirected the ball back across goal. Sean Purcell then hesitated to come off the line to collect the loose ball, allowing James McCarthy in, who poked home.
The plentiful pressure came courtesy mainly of two men: midfielder Richie Saunders and frontman John Magani. Both were able to use their pace to good effect, often getting in behind the host's defence but either a last ditch tackle or awkward touch prevented them from causing more damage than they did.
27 minutes in, Saunders poked through Magani after a Neil Matthews flick on. Magani had no defenders between him and goal but a desperate tackle from a defender deflected his 15 yard effort wide.
The two combined again seven minutes later. Again, it was the midfielder playing through the forward. Again Magani, after beating a man was through. After a surging run he shot from a tight angle and once again the ball deflected wide off a defender's leg.
Up with Magani though was Phil Tearle. A simple square ball across and it wouldn't have been 1-1, but a lack of communication between the pair meant only a corner was won.
That corner produced the equaliser. And once again Magani and Saunders were in the thick of things, the latter supplying the finish.
Lee Morse under-hit the ball to the front post, where Matthews was able to flick it on. The ball bounced off the body of Magani before spraying loose to Saunders, who poked in from close range for the perfect poacher's finish.
A flurry of bookings ended the first half. Lee Morse was cautioned for dissent, whilst Phil Tearle and Ed Wilkins were shown yellow for rash challenges. The bad blood continued to run as the teams headed for the dressing rooms after Magani was accused of shoving Wilkins, but luckily things stayed under control.
The second half played out much the way the end of the first did: with the visitors firmly on top.
With 54 minutes played, Matthews struck a fierce free kick from 25 yards. After taking a slight deflection from the wall, the ball continued to fly towards goal, but Martin Woodhouse was able to tip it away. The danger wasn't gone though and Steve Yeardley and Magani both had the opportunity to fire home, but both were denied by goalline blocks.
Nine minutes later Magani raced past Martin Thompson, who moments earlier had been booked, before cutting the ball back for Matthews. The forward struck first time but another outstretched leg of a Malmesbury defender guided the ball onto the bar.
Failing to put away these chances eventually led to yet more misfortune. Paul Day was the provider of said misfortune.
Midway through the second period he was gift wrapped a goal but failed to find the back of the net. Steve Yeardley's header back to Purcell fell short and the forward raced onto the ball. After coming off his line, Purcell was able to do enough to glove the ball away after Day tried slotting into the bottom right corner.
He made up for this miss with ten minutes left. Andrew Wilkins picked an unmarked Day out with a diagonal ball and the forward struck low from 15 yards. Purcell was able to parry, but only as far as Day's feet and he made no mistake with the rebound, putting away an easy finish.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Neil Matthews – was once again a dominant force in the air, holding the ball up well and bringing others into play. It was a shame that a lot of his work went to waste though as flick-ons from him over the top of the defence were often not latched onto.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – Despite dominating the game in terms of chances, Bassett once again found a way to not convert them and lose. There is no denying that Malmesbury robbed Bassett, but their two goals could have been avoided if for better concentration at the back.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38