John Magani, Richie Saunders
29 Regiment RLC South Cerney, 29th March 2008
Prior to the 2-0 victory against bottom side Cirencester United, the last time John Magani had scored was Wootton Bassett Town's first FA Cup clash with Brockenhurst on September 15th. But, finally, after just six months and 14 days, his goalless drought is over.
In the 34th minute of the match, Magani was the recipient of a pass out from defence, following a cleared corner for the opposing side.
Stationed on the halfway line, he fed the ball into the path of Stu Hemsley as the central midfielder made an overlapping run with Cirencester caught on their heels.
Magani peeled off, timed his run to perfection – a nanosecond earlier and he would have been flagged for offside – and brought down a pin-point, lofted reverse pass from Hemsley.
Nothing but a goal was what the move deserved, and that is what it got. Coolly, and emphatically, he slotted the ball past Michael Bowman and, after an effort of his, the back of the net finally bulged again.
More importantly, the goal set Bassett on their way to their first win in seven and first clean sheet in eight. And despite the relatively narrow final score, the comfortable nature of the victory was pleasing.
The closest Cirencester came to troubling the back of the net was four minutes after Magani struck when Richard Miles struck across goal and narrowly wide as he pounced on a loose ball after Rich Gee failed to control a difficult ball.
It was a different story at the other end though. Although, the number of chances was relatively low – foul conditions consisting of persistent heavy rain and a powerful cross wind were the reasons for this – when they did come, they were clear cut.
Just after the hour, a superb switch of play from right to left by Neil Matthews and an instinctive dart into the box from left midfielder Tom Marchment almost led to the second. With his first touch, the unmarked youngster sent a well placed left footed shot towards the right corner but it ended up an inch wide of the post instead.
However, Bassett were not made to wait for the decisive goal. On 67 minutes, Cirencester failed to clear from a corner and substitute Mark King took possession in the right corner.
He cut the ball back to Richie Saunders on the edge of the box and – after skipping by his man with ease – rifled a left footed shot towards the top left corner. On the way, the ball took a wicked deflection but the ball found the back of the net anyway to kill things off.
Substitute Graeme Little twice almost made it three in the dying stages. With seven minutes remaining, he drilled a 25-yard free kick goalwards and was denied only by the crossbar. The ball rebounded into the six yard box and Magani and Matthews were amongst the scramble that ensued but neither could prod the ball over the line as Bowman was in the end able to smother.
Then a minute later, a delicate chip over the top from Matthews picked out an unmarked Little just inside the box. The midfielder swivelled his body and connect well with a volley, sending the ball towards the bottom left corner. However, Bowman had other ideas and got down well to tip the ball wide.
The misses were of little significance though: the three points were already in the bag and a boost of confidence provided – in particular for Magani.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Rich Gee: along with Rich Willis, he dealt effectively with virtually everything Cirencester threw at him, ensuring Sean Purcell had a quiet day at the office.
Scoop Rating: 8/10 – Bassett dominated proceedings, defending astutely and getting forward well and came away with a deserved three points.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38
John Magani, Richie Saunders