M Bennett, D King
The Red House, 24th March 2008
The misery for Wootton Bassett Town continues. But, yet again, the misery was of their own creation as Purton forward Andy Philpott jumped on an underhit pass from 'keeper Sean Purcell before slotting home to separate the two sides in an unpredictable local derby.
Purcell had been a hero to Bassett in the first half though, as he denied Warren Fuller from the penalty spot, saving with his legs after diving to his left.
Purton's penalty miss, however, was a mere minute after Bassett squandered one of their own.
Again, it was blocked out by a fine save – Daniel Fry guessing correctly, diving to his right to block a Steve Yeardley spot kick that was, surprisingly, more power than placement.
Prior to the two minutes of madness that occurred in the dying moments of the first half, the game had been a largely dour affair, with the long ball game doing the most damage.
Nine minutes in a long throw from the right inside to Johnny Coole was then switched out to Ryan Keech on the left hand side. The winger sent in a low cross that whistled dangerously across the face of goal and Paul Blagden was the only player able to get a touch on the ball at the far post, but he blazed over.
Just under ten minutes later, a Darren Brown corner was met with an ineffective punch from Purcell and fell to Blagden on the edge of the box. He laced an effort into the floor, and after a hefty bounce, the Bassett 'keeper was forced to parry the ball wide whilst diving to his right.
At the other end, John Magani was proving to be a presence that Purton were unable to put up with.
Midway through the opening period, he rolled Michael Lees with ease after a long, precise Jonny Aitkenhead pass and bore down on goal. Two options were open to him – a square pass to Phil Tearle or a shot from a slight angle – but for some reason he took neither and lost possession.
Then with seven minutes to go before the break he collected a Stu Hemsley ball before gliding past Lees again. He opened fire from a tight angle 10 yards out and forced a low save from Fry.
It was Magani, who was to win the penalty four minutes later when he was brought down from behind by Matt Dawe, who was lucky to escape with just a yellow as Magani was clean through.
However, Fry saved well before Purcell allowed Bassett to escape unharmed after Rich Gee was somewhat cruelly adjudged to have pushed Philpott and gained an unfair advantage as both challenged for an aerial ball.
Seeing how most of the season has played out for Bassett, it was no surprise to see the winning goal for the hosts come from a mistake. And that it did 61 minutes in. After receiving the ball from right back Luke Jones, Purcell went to play the ball back but mishit, and Philpott found himself with an empty net in front of him, comfortably disposing of the ball.
Five minutes later Purcell ensured the lead remained a single goal, tipping around the post from Fuller after the forward latched onto a ball over the top and raced past Rich Gee.
The forward may have made it easier for Purcell by trying to squeeze the ball into the near corner, but there can be no denying the quality of the save.
In the dying minutes, Purton were lucky to escape without conceding an equaliser.
Twice, Phil Tearle beat the offside trap and raced onto hopeful balls over the top from Graeme Little. Twice, he came inches away from scoring.
The first time he took the ball down and tried placing the ball around the 'keeper, but Fry got a hand on the ball and it bounced onto the bar. Then in the final minute, Tearle saw Fry off his line and went for a lob, but struck just over.
Scoop's Man of the Match: John Magani – Purton were unable to contain the powerful and pacy forward, who left everything on the field, but for no reward. He deserved better.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – once again, it was one mistake that cost Bassett. The game was an even contest throughout and Bassett did enough to produce a clean sheet but were guilty of shooting themselves in the foot again. It would have felt less painful to take if the winning goal had come courtesy of a fantastic finish.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38
M Bennett, D King