Rylands Way, 15th March 2008
For the past month, Rich Gee has struggled to maintain a starting place after a run of 17 consecutive starts earlier in the season.
Against Headington Amateurs he was once again consigned to the bench, but an early injury to Chris Mills ensured he played 72 minutes, and after 65 of those, he proved to be Bassett's saviour.
The typically goal shy Gee sent a looping header from 12 yards into the top left corner after brilliant work by Phil Tearle on the left hand side. Tearle patiently picked at substitute Steve Bell, before finally rolling him and delivered a perfect left footed cross that the defender nodded in.
The goal saved Bassett from losing to a sloppy own goal the visiting side scored seven minutes after half time.
A free kick was pumped up field from the deep and Sean Purcell should have made a comfortable catch. Instead, a slightly late call from the 'keeper confused Steve Yeardley, who collided with his teammate.
The ball jarred loose and a scramble amongst the Bassett defence ensued, despite their being no attacker within striking distance. As the ball bobbled about the six yard box it took a touch off Purcell's knee, which took it into the back of the net.
It was a gift of a goal to Headington, who had three times been denied well by Bassett following good chances in the first half.
Six minutes in, Purcell made a point blank save to tip Nathan Clayton's close range header around the post following a flicked on long throw.
Before their next two opportunities, Mark King – impressive on his return to first team football - failed to test Dan Bianchini after being set free whilst Jonny Aitkenhead saw a low effort from 18 yards blocked on the line after good hold up play from John Magani.
Headington looked likeliest to break the deadlock going into half time though and Clayton was set loose following a ball over the top eight minutes before half time. Purcell made up brilliantly for some slight hesitation though, by blocking the shot at Clayton's feet.
Then two minutes later a quick free kick caught Bassett out and Darren Wichall chipped the ball over right back Luke Jones to put Matthew Phillips in. From a tight angle, Phillips lifted the ball over Purcell but great covering work from Yeardley enabled the Bassett skipper to head off the line.
Then came the second half and Headington's early goal. However, it should have been Bassett ahead. Less than two minutes after the restart, King disposed left Michael Maciak and raced down the right wing. He played a low cross into the danger area for an unmarked Neil Matthews.
However, his fellow forward failed to connect properly with the ball from six yards out and Bianchini was able to smother.
With the lead, the Oxfordshire side tightened up at the back and rejected any forward advances from the hosts.
Clayton continued to look lively at the other end and, if not for a timely Aitkenhead challenge that sent a 20-yard drive wide and good hands from Purcell following a firmly struck 30-yarder, he could possibly have doubled the advantage.
He couldn't though, allowing Tearle and Gee to combine to rescue a point.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Jonny Aitkenhead – produced another mature performance at left back, performing his defensive responsibilities successfully and also looked lively going forward, combining well with John Magani down the left flank.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – the sloppy conditions limited both sides effectiveness, making play extremely difficult. However, Paul Burke's side put in a solid performance – aside from the own goal - worthy of a point.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38