Cricklade Leisure Centre, 16th February 2008
A week after disposing of title challengers Easington Sports, Wootton Bassett Town reverted back to their underachieving selves, crashing 2-0 at local rivals Cricklade Town.
The low score line does not given an accurate reflection, however, of how flat, uninspired and poor Bassett were. Only two changes were made from the side that beat the former league leaders seven days prior, one being forced due to the absence of Jonny Aitkenhead.
Despite this though the core of that side remained, in particular three out of the four in the defence, who kept arguably the league's best forward - Ricky Johnson - quiet.
Yet a week later the defence were at the completely opposite end of the spectrum, with the organisation – or lack of – when defending allowing plenty of opportunities for their hosts, who themselves are not challenging for honours.
Rather than being at fault for the first goal though, it was a lack of judgement from 'keeper Sean Purcell that allowed left winger Adam Smith to tap in to an empty net after a cross from the right, helped on by Joe Dorey, hadn't left the field of play.
Midway through the first half, a swift piece of play should have brought an equaliser. Neil Matthews flicked on a John Magani switch pass to Stu Hemsley, who slipped in Richie Saunders, putting the midfielder in behind the defence. Saunders bore down on goal before firing from just inside the box. He fired wide of the right post though without challenging the 'keeper.
From then on though, it was all Cricklade. Four minutes before the break, Smith should have added a second but hit over from six yards whilst unmarked following a testing ball across the face of goal.
The second period saw Bassett continually caught on the break as the no nonsense style of defending employed by the hosts mean the ball was up with forwards Dorey and Ben Carter before the midfield were back in time to assist the defence.
A superb saving tackle from Patel and a tip around the post from Purcell both denied chances within the first ten minutes before Patel came close at the other end. He found the site netting after a quick free kick from Saunders pulled the ball back to him on the edge of the area.
The lead was doubled for Cricklade 63 minutes in, once again following a swift counter attack. Dorey raced onto a through ball from the halfway line, rode a strong challenge from Steve Yeardley and found the top right corner with a cool, yet easy finish.
Cricklade star man Ben Carter then twice had good chances to get in on the act. With 17 minutes left, combination play between Dorey and Smith set him up, but his shot was parried away.
Then three minutes later a Dorey flick on set him loose. Carter rounded Purcell but could only find the side netting from a tight angle.
A consolation was almost netted by Patel in the final minute of the match but a fine save from Elliot Jackson and the intervention of the crossbar combined to deny him. Lee Morse picked out the left back with a pin-point crossfield pass on the left side, and with his second touch he fired from 25 yards before Jackson's glove diverted it onto he bar and over.
It was fitting though that the home side were able to blank Bassett, because in all fairness they didn't deserve anything at all from the match.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Paul Patel – linked up well with John Magani going forward down the left and was also able to supply a few dangerous balls into the box; was unlucky not to score.
Scoop Rating: 4/10 –after last week's superb win, it was hard to believe that Bassett could put in such a debacle of a performance just seven days later. Such a result should hurt those involved.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38