The Conigre, 17th March 2009
Wootton Bassett Town were denied passage to the County Senior Cup Final on a chilly March evening in Melksham, falling 2-1 to a very pacy Warminster side.
The match didn't start well for Wootton Bassett, with Warminster establishing the early pace. Just one minute in a good cross from Tom Baxter found the head of Jason Guy in the centre of the Bassett penalty area. Stu Thompson did well to react and tip the ball over the bar.
Confusion ensued from the resulting corner and as the ball made its way perilously towards Bassett's goal Lee Moulton rose up and headed away to prevent Warminster taking an early lead.
However, Warminster didn't have to wait too much longer to establish a deserved advantage. On five minutes the exceptionally fast Simon Reaney beat Luke Sharps to a long punt down field. A good lay off to Baxter on the corner of the Bassett penalty area provided plenty of room to play the ball across the box, and James Vincent coolly slotted home from five yards.
The game proceeded to settle down from this point, with Bassett starting to adapt to Warminster's speed. A good midfield battle ensued, with the some strong tackles coming in from both sides but few chances were created. Of particular note was Bassett's recent signing from Clanfield, Eddie Everret, who was unbeatable both in the air and on the floor.
On 18 minutes though, Bassett drew level. A soft free kick was conceded 15 yards inside Warminster's half for a foul on Steve Yeardley. After the first attempt went to waste but was fortunately called back, Sharps looped a dangerous ball in the centre of Warminster's penalty area. Shaun Carter beat all around him, flicking the ball deftly over Jamie McGuckian's outstretched hand into the far corner.
Three minutes later though Warminster almost regained the lead. Tom Welch was allowed to run at the Bassett defence and from the edge of the penalty area fired an innocuous looking shot at goal. However, Thompson spilled it and could do nothing but watch as the ball rolled agonisingly into the net. Fortunately the assistant referee's flag had gone up for offside though, much to the annoyance of the Warminster side.
The remainder of the first half went off without incident, with the majority of play taking place in the midfield. Neither side was able to create anything, with both teams seemingly deciding to see the rest of the half out.
The second half started in similar fashion to how the first ended, until 13 minutes in, when Warminster finally managed to break the deadlock.
A free kick from Ashley Wain on the left was met by the head of Simon Reaney 12 yards from goal and, despite Shaun Carter's best efforts to guide it over with a head of his own, the ball found its way just under the cross bar.
Bassett did fight back though, with all but one of the best chances being created by them.
The first, on 75 minutes, came from some great link-up play down the right between Ryan Banks and substitute Tom Richie, who wasted no time in getting involved after replacing Craig Wall just moments earlier. A good cross from Richie was spilled by the Warminster 'keeper, but Scott Ward was unable to capitalise.
Banks was again involved in some good forward movement 10 minutes later, working with Ward to create a great chance in front of goal for Steve Yeardley. The long-serving Yeardley was denied, however, by a very well timed tackle from Wain just 10 yards from goal before the ball was cleared.
Bassett's more attacking play was beginning to leave them vulnerable to the counter attack from Warminster, and on 78 minutes Warminster's lead was almost doubled.
A break down the left from Welch drew the stretched Bassett defence over, providing Louis Sparey with all the space he needed to run unopposed onto Welch's through ball. Thompson did very well to deny Sparey on the edge of the area, but could do nothing but watch as the rebound fell to Liam Flowers, who blasted the ball off the upright from 20 yards out.
With just seconds remaining of normal time, Bassett had their final chance to try to force extra time. Good play from Liam Edmondson and Richie gave Yeardley his second opportunity. This time he was able to get a good shot off, but McGuckian got down well and held on to deny Bassett an extra 30 minutes.
Man of the Match: Eddie Everrett – a recent signing from Clanfield, he looked extremely comfortable in the centre of midfield and showed no signs of unfamiliarity with those around him. He was both strong in the air and in the tackle and could prove vital as Bassett now turn their attention back to their promotion push.
Scoop's Brother's Rating: 7/10 – Despite going down 2-1, this was a solid performance against what was a very fast Warminster side. There were some good points to take from this game and I am sure that everyone will be able to bounce back and really push for a top three promotion spot in the league.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38