Rylands Way, 20th August 2008
Wootton Bassett Town were unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup as Flackwell Heath proved that class somehow always prevails with a 6-1 replay victory.
Undoubtedly, parallels will be drawn with the nature of Bassett's exit last year at the hands of a fine Brockenhurst side: there was the failure to hold onto a lead coupled with the capitulation in the replay.
However, Flackwell should feel that the final score flattered them somewhat, for it took two fortuitous goals to kill of the tie before they could turn on the style.
Their first goal came just after the quarter hour mark – a period which had seen Bassett apply most of the early pressure – and only occurred after 'keeper Stewart Thompson bobbled a cross field ball after it skidded off the slick surface. This allowed James Suarez to tee the ball up for Nathan Jack, who sent a ferocious shot into the back of the net.
The second, which came seven minutes after the restart, involved even more luck. Adam Morris drilled a low free kick poorly and straight at the wall, but a wicked deflection sent the ball squirming towards the bottom right corner and a stricken Thompson had little he could do.
From there on in the floodgates opened. Two was quickly three when Suarez coolly lifted the ball over an onrushing Thompson after a square ball fro Morris.
Thompson then failed to collect Jack's cross from the left corner and Darren Moore fired into an empty net from close range before the lead was further extended twenty minutes from time when a low cross from Morris took an awkward bounce and was diverted in by the chest of an extremely unlucky Richie Carter.
Craig Shand ensured Flackwell did not go back to High Wycombe with a clean sheet, as he fired in on the turn from a perfectly placed Shaun Terry cross.
But further salt was rubbed into the wounds when substitute Stuart Maclellan finished the job with a thumping long range effort following a surging run and inside pass from the industrious Jack.
However, it all could have been different as Bassett should have been a goal to the good, and could even have been two ahead inside the opening ten minutes.
Scott Ward had the first opportunity as he raced clear from the halfway line, creating a two-on-one situation. Instead, of supplying Terry with a through ball though he continued his surging run, allowing Joe Da Silva to catch up to him, meaning Ward could only produce a weak effort that was too comfortable for Carl Dennison.
Harry Hambridge had an even better chance four minutes later. Terry rolled his man in the right corner before squaring inside to Ward, who then saw his shot from 10 yards blocked.
Hambridge gambled brilliantly though to get on the end of the loose ball and all he had to do was play the ball around Dennison from close range. But great backs to the wall defending saw his shot blocked and fly over for merely a corner.
Despite falling behind, there were still further chances to get back on level terms before the break. Tom Ritchie saw a shot deflected over before a surging run past at least five defenders from Ryan Banks opened up a one-on-one opportunity but Dennison was able to save his low effort with his feet.
Seconds later, Ritchie found only the side netting with a header from Hambridge's right wing cross.
And that was the last chance before the restart to the match signalled a dramatic swing in fortune. Thompson to his credit made two fine saves – both point blank range ones at that – in quick succession to foil shots from Jack and Suarez, but that was about as good as it got for the hosts in the final 45 minutes.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Richie Carter – stepping in for the injured Luke Sharps, Carter carried on from where he left off Saturday with another admirable display at right back. He found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time with the unfortunate own goal but acquitted himself well the rest of the night.
Scoop Rating: 5/10 – in the end Flackwell proved their class, but the scoreline was flattering to them as they were more than lucky to lead going into half time and needed more luck to kill off the game with the second goal. Bassett's first half performance was just as good as the one on Saturday, however Flackwell stepped up their game another notch and were worthy winners.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38