Woodmarsh, 26th April 2008
Finally, Wootton Bassett Town's dismal season has come to an end. However, it ended with a disappointing sense of relief attached to it as Trowbridge Town delivered a 5-1 thumping.
The typical sense of rivalry was sadly missing from the game. But that has a lot to do with how the season has panned out for both sides.
Trowbridge still had an outside shot of finishing in the top three, but their clashes with the Wiltshire FA and a recent poor run of form have soured what has been another seemingly successful season for the south Wiltshire side.
For Bassett, bar the FA Cup run, things didn't go right at all. There were some signs of life shown throughout the year, such as the victories over Easington Sports, Oxford City Nomads and Tuesday's win against the champions Winterbourne, but these were too infrequent for any pleasure to be taken out of the year.
An early flurry of goals from the hosts put the game to bed ten minutes before half time as Trowbridge's superb front pairing of Matt Minnis and Scott Askew wreaked havoc.
Askew, who bagged a 25 minute hat trick, opened the scoring six minutes in, tapping in a rebounded effort after Jonny Aitkenhead's block of Minnis' shot fell straight to him.
All three of his scores came from counter attacks, the first after Bassett failed to produce anything from a corner, the second from Bassett conceding possession too easily in the middle third.
The ball was spread wide to Kieran Baggs on the right and he played a neat one-two with Minnis to open up space to cross before an unmarked Askew headed in easily from ten yards.
Ten minutes later he had completed his three goal haul. Trowbridge were allowed out of defence too easily, and Matt Penman played a slide rule pass through to Minnis to initiate the move. Minnis flew with ease past Luke Jones before getting to the byline and squaring back for Askew to add the simplest of tap-ins.
Minnis then got in on the act, taking down a right wing cross from Askew whilst unmarked before sidestepping Sean Purcell in the same motion and tapping into an empty net.
The second period started in the worst possible way for Bassett, with skipper Steve Yeardley being forced out of the game through injury after coming out the worst from a 50-50 challenge. This reduced the visitors to ten men and Trowbridge quickly took advantage.
Just before the hour, a quickly taken free kick set Minnis free down the left. At the byline, he cut the ball across goal to Askew at the far post. His effort was blocked on the line by Aitkenhead, but Baggs found himself in the right place at the right time, and tapped home the rebound.
Minnis then missed a great opportunity to make it six, beating the offside trap before bearing down on goal. However, great hustle back from the youngster Aitkenhead enabled his first shot to be blocked and Purcell produced a great save at the forward's feet to prevent him from converting at the second attempt.
John Magani ensured Bassett weren't blanked out midway through the period, curling a sublime 20-yard effort into the bottom right corner after Neil Matthews nodded Graeme Little's lofted pass down to him.
And in the final minute, Aitkenhead again cleared off the line, this time from substitute Booker Woodford after he had skilfully dinked the ball over both Jones and Purcell.
Bassett were then forced to wait through a lengthy period of stoppage time for the final whistle, but finally it came, signalling the end of a frustrating season and the start of the Dave Turner led era.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Credit must be given to those who have stuck with the team despite enduring a down season. It would have been more than easy for them to call it quits earlier in the year, but it shows character that they didn't.
Scoop Rating: 4/10 – the disappointing defeat kind of summed up the season, but Bassett didn't cave in during the second half, despite starting it four goals down and came away with a goal to their name.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38