Rylands Way, 18th March 2008
Richie Saunders once again showed his indispensable value to Paul Burke's side as his header eleven minutes from time rescued a point against local rivals Malmesbury Victoria.
The story of the game was very much similar to Bassett's encounter on Saturday with Headington Amateurs: despite a sound performance, Bassett found themselves trailing to a soft goal late on but managed to eke out a deserved equaliser.
The point meant Bassett kept in touch with Malmesbury, but also served arguably as a moral victory as it meant former Bassett duo Kenny Regan and Lee Marshall were unable to do the double over their former side.
The derby match was an entertaining one, but there were bound to be a couple of nervous bodies early on as the visitors eked out two good, early chances.
However, neither managed to test Sean Purcell in the Bassett goal as Peter Soane sent an overhead kick wide before a glancing header from Adam Giles sailed across the face of goal and wide of the left post.
On 25 minutes Saunders almost gave Bassett the lead. A clever dink over the top from Danny Heath almost set Phil Tearle free but a bounce off what appeared to be the arm of Martin Thompson prevented that. The ball remained loose though and Saunders pounced on it before firing a ferocious effort from 15 yards that brought a fine reflex save out of Martin Woodhouse.
Five minutes later there was a let off at the other end as Giles once again rose highest to head a John Edmonds corner towards the target. Soane raced in unmarked at the left hand post to try ensure the ball crossed the line but a poor touch allowed Purcell time to recover and smother the ball.
Despite these openings, the best chance of the half was yet to come, arriving with 33 minutes on the clock.
Thompson continued to appear intent on helping his former side out, as he left a Neil Matthews flick on for Woodhouse to collect on the edge of the box. The 'keeper failed to read this though and was extremely slow off his line.
Tearle took full advantage, racing in to the ball before sending a looping effort over the former Forest Green shot-stopper. Thompson was then able to just make up for his error and hooked the ball off the line before smacking head first into the right upright.
After the restart, the better of the chances continued to fall the way of the home team. Tearle forced a relatively comfortably save out of Woodhouse with a powerful header from 12 yards before Heath made him work even harder.
Saunders helped on a Patel pass to the youngster, and he let rip from 25 yards with a low, yet well struck effort that the veteran 'keeper did well to tip around his right hand post.
But once again a soft goal was conceded. Giles raced onto a ball over the top, which had caught Jonny Aitkenhead ball watching, in the left corner. He first cut inside the Bassett right back before going by Steve Yeardley and unleashing a powerfully struck drive from 12 yards. Purcell failed to cling onto it and Alan Webb was there to bundle it in from six yards.
Bassett never looked like conceding for the remainder of the match, but it was yet to be proved they could find the back of the net themselves.
And Matthews' chance with twelve minutes left was evidence of that. Patel played him in with a sublime slide-rule pass and with one touch the forward sidestepped Woodhouse. However, he immediately slipped and the danger was cleared for a throw.
From this throw-in, though Bassett were able to concoct their equaliser. Matthews whipped in a cross from the left that Saunders was able to nod home from close range after rising above the 'keeper and his marker.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Richie Saunders – another quality performance in the heart of the midfield engine room. Saunders was combative in the tackle and equally adept when on the ball as well as continuing his knack for scoring the vital goal.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 – another mistake cost Bassett all three points, but other than that it was a performance to be proud of. Chances were created, whilst the defence tightened up after a slightly slow start.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38