Rylands Way, 11th April 2009
Every point in football is important, but Dave Turner will surely be ruing his side's failure to earn all three against a negative Malmesbury Victoria side, who seemed more than content with a solitary point.
To their credit, Malmesbury are all but guaranteed a place at the top table of Hellenic League football next year, but their direct, overly defensive style made the game an underwhelming spectacle, despite the fact it was arguably the biggest derby game of the season for both sides.
The closest the visitors came was a minute after half time when Kevin Coles scuffed his shot wide whilst under pressure from Shaun Carter. This itself followed a Bassett mistake, which allowed Coles the chance to get in behind the Bassett backline.
Other than that, they rarely looked like threatening Stewart Thompson, who had an easy game in goal, despite taking an early whack from Steve Avenell.
For Bassett, the game could have been won inside the opening 15 minutes, but Paul Hunt, who recently has been in prolific form, spurned two golden opportunities.
His first chance came after Chris Oram rose highest to redirect a deep Richie Carter free kick across goal. The ball fell to the forward within ten yards of the goal, but with only 'keeper Martin Woodhouse to beat, Hunt sent a weak left foot shot wide from ten yards.
Moments later Scott Ward nodded the ball down to Hunt on the edge of the box, but he blast over on the bounce with a clear sight of goal.
Just after the half hour, Hunt did force a save out of Woodhouse. From a tight angle in the left corner, the veteran forward produced a smart left-footed chip that had Woodhouse moving, but the 'keeper was able to claw the ball wide for a corner.
The sides played out a nondescript midfield battle in the second half, with neither side capable of creating any decent opening from open play.
Between them, the sides mustered a handful of corners, but with both defences being strong in the air, nothing really came of them.
On one occasion, Oram did manage to beat his marker following an inswinger from Tom Ritchie. However his header, which sailed back across goal, was met with a Malmesbury head on the line, just as it appeared to be destined for the top left corner.
The game withered out from then on, and Malmesbury's intentions were clear to see, when with five minutes to go they forced a corner and decided to play it short before shielding the ball in order to run the clock down.
Obviously, they knew that a single point would not do any favours for their bitter rivals, who have still failed to beat Malmesbury since Kenny Regan and Lee Marshall took over. However, it was disappointing to see and not really what the 150 strong crowd came to see in such a big game.
A draw was far better than a defeat for Dave Turner's side, but a victory for Oxford City Nomads in their final league game against Easter Monday's opponents Trowbridge Town means Bassett need to amass ten points from their final four games.
Luckily, they have the edge on goal difference, but that will count for nothing if points are dropped.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Chris Oram – dominant in the air and helped ensure Malmesbury's normally lively forwards had a quiet day. Oram was unfortunate to get booked too after a firm, but fair challenge on Coles.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – it wasn't a defeat, but a draw was not overly helpful either. With all the best chances in the game falling to Bassett, the result was even more frustrating.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38