S Ward, S Yeardley
Rylands Way, 18th April 2009
After seeing their chances of promotion fall by the wayside at Trowbridge on Monday, it was no surprise to see Wootton Bassett Town suffering from what can only be described as the end of season blues.
Against local rivals Cricklade Town, Bassett seemed to be going through the motions somewhat and were fortunate that Scott Ward popped up with a late winner to avoid dropping points to a side languishing in the depths of the Hellenic League Division One West table.
The result was certainly unfair on the visitors, who came into the game on the back of a healthy run of form, and they should really have been ahead going into half time.
Dave Turner's side spent the majority of the opening 45 minutes camped deep inside their own half thanks to more poor play. But thanks to a few huge slices of luck and one fine save from Stewart Thompson they were able to keep the scores deadlocked.
An awful finish from Lee Bowen with an open goal in front of him got Bassett off the hook seven minutes in before a fine save on the backpedal from Thompson allowed the 'keeper to get his fingertips to a beautifully struck effort from the same player.
Ten minutes before half time, after being penalised for a backpass, Thompson had Steve Yeardley to thank. The wall did its job at first, but then Luke Sharps failed to clear. Adam Smith pounced on the loose ball, but could only find the post from a tight angle.
The rebound fell to Sam Reason, and the midfielder was presented with a goal bereft of Thompson, who had been caught out trying to block the initial free kick. However, Reason's powerfully struck shot was blocked by the back of Yeardley and eventually cleared.
Bassett themselves came close twice, but Cricklade's stand-in 'keeper Alisdair Ross made a pair of fine reflex saves to deny Sean Bailey and Paul Fisher.
Cricklade continued to threaten in the early stages of the second period, but fell behind just prior to the hour mark.
Ward beat the offside trap to meet a long ball from Richie Carter and proceeded to round Ross. The 'keeper had done well to force him wide, and the forward was forced to square across goal for Yeardley to apply the finishing touch.
The lead was to last all of four minutes though. Substitute Eddie Everett was caught in possession by Reason and the former Bassett player, immediately spotting Thompson off his line, produced an exquisite effort to beat the 'keeper from in excess of 30 yards.
The goal caused the Bassett defence to tighten up, and the majority of chances towards the end of the game were to occur around Cricklade's goal instead.
Ward, after again beating the offside trap, should have done better when he placed a lobbed effort wide of the left post on 77 minutes, but he made amends for that miss six minutes later.
Youngster Lee Smith initiated a counter with a fine pass out from deep in his own half. Yeardley was the recipient, and he stretched the Cricklade defence further, spraying the ball out to Bailey on the left.
After nipping inside his man, Bailey provided an incisive through pass that could not be dealt with, and Ward beat the oncoming Ross to the ball to poke the ball home.
A late scare was avoided when Steve Winchcombe blasted over after rounding Thompson to preserve the points to ensure Bassett's final home game of the season was won for the fourth consecutive year.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Steve Yeardley – once again proved to be Mr. Versatility, starting in defence, before moving to midfield and eventually up front in the second half. Yeardley scored another invaluable goal and played a part in the second, all after clearing off the line in the first half.
Scoop Rating: 5/10 – Bassett were disappointing and were lucky not to have suffered what would have been an embarrassing defeat given the two side's fortunes this season. It was nice to see another win in the final home game of the year, though.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38
S Ward, S Yeardley