R Saunders (2), S Yeardley
Rylands Way, 1st March 2008
It's been a while, but finally Wootton Bassett Town are moving in the right direction in terms of their league position.
Over a period of 12 league matches, there wasn't any respite as they slipped from 13th to 16th without any small peaks in between.
Their 3-1 win over Launton Sports, coupled with Malmesbury Vics losing and Clanfield's idleness, moved them two spots up to 14th as Paul Burke's try to claw their way back up to mid table and a respectable league position.
And it was a quick start that featured two goals in the first 13 minutes that propelled Bassett to victory over their Oxfordshire opponents.
Captain Steve Yeardley struck first with less than three minutes on the clock. Paul Patel whipped in a free kick from the right side, and Yeardley was there at the far post to head in from 10 yards.
Richie Saunders followed his act ten minutes later, but not after fine build up play between two of the side's youngest members.
Danny Heath set Phil Tearle free down the right, and the forward cut inside his man with ease before delivering a perfectly placed left foot cross. Saunders raced in and stretched himself enough to make connection with the ball and volley home past Danny Clifford, who was beaten well to the ball.
Just as Bassett appeared to be imposing their dominance on the game though, they went and gifted Launton a relatively soft goal. A poor clearance from Heath and slack marking from Jonny Aitkenhead made it easy for Danny Green, who was able to shoot across Sean Purcell into the bottom right corner.
With just over half an hour gone, a fine one-two between John Magani and Tearle opened up the Launton defence as Magani found himself through. However, Clifford parried away his effort from 12 yards and Heath's headed rebound was scrambled away by a defender.
The two goal lead was finally restored four minutes before the break though. Saunders bagged his eighth of the year, but it really is Clifford who should be thanked.
Stu Hemsley sent a poor free kick from the halfway line straight at the 'keeper, but he couldn't hold onto the ball. Saunders reacted first and pounced on the loose ball to poke home from six yards.
Launton have conceded heavily on their travels, and that trend looked to continue in the second half.
Ten minutes after the restart, Aitkenhead picked out Tearle with a fine ball over the top, which left the latter with only Clifford to beat. However, his low drive from the edge of the area was tipped around the post.
The creator of that chance for Tearle would only last fifteen minutes longer on the pitch. Aiktenhead had received a caution for taking a swipe at the heels of Green in the first half and followed this up by receiving a second yellow for a slightly late challenge.
Despite being at a numerical disadvantage, Bassett held out for the remainder of the game. Their opponents were only able to grind out two chances of note, both from long range, as Matt Jenkins blaed over before substitute Paul Anderson forced Purcell to palm away to safety.
The best chance of the final stages fell to the hosts with 15 minutes left. After good work down the left, John Magani picked out Tearle with his cross.
The youngster cut the ball onto his left foot before delicately chipping the ball towards the bottom left corner, however the woodwork prevented Bassett from grabbing a fourth and him from getting on the scoresheet.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Phil Tearle – had a fine game playing on the right side of the front three. His perfectly placed cross enabled Saunders to net his first and he continued to supply good deliveries throughout the course of the match. His recent string of performances has justified Paul Burke's show of faith in him.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 – Aside from the goal conceded and the red card for Jonny Aitkenhead, this was a performance that has to have pleased the manager. Bassett finally looked comfortable defending a lead and really could have had more than the three they produced.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38
R Saunders (2), S Yeardley