Rylands Way, 29th August 2009
Typically the FA Cup has brought out the best of Wootton Bassett Town. Sure, heavy defeats have led to their last two exits, but only after strong displays forced replays. However, this year they departed the competition following an extremely disappointing display against Brockenhurst, who – although a decent side – were nothing compared with the side which put Bassett out two seasons ago.
A solitary goal – Ben Kneller's 38th minute header – may have only separated the two sides, but Bassett did not register a shot on target all game, and any momentum gained from their big midweek victory against Headington seemed to have vanished once the whistle to begin the game had been sounded.
With the game less than 30 seconds old, Liam Crook was afforded far too much space, duly cut inside from the left wing and advanced the best part of 40 yards before firing low. Luckily though an outstretched Stewart Thompson clung onto the ball with an assured save.
Brockenhurst themselves had seen their previous game finished 6-1, but not in their favour. This though was not apparent as they confidently stroked the ball around, forcing their hosts to chase and see little of the ball.
Thompson had to produce another save to deny Kneller from the edge of the box after a neat flick by Fawzi Saadi set his strike-partner up. This time the Bassett 'keeper failed to hold on, but did brilliantly to tip the ball around the upright.
He could do little though to keep out his header seven minutes before the break. Hesitation when dealing with an innocuous looking clearance gifted the visitors possession in the final third, and a quick switch of play from left to right stretched the Bassett defence further.
The ball fell to the feet of Dave Wakefield, who was allowed too much time on the ball, and his inch perfect cross was nodded in by an unmarked Kneller.
It was the type of goal Bassett have been prone to conceding so far this season, namely sloppy. Throughout, the defence was Bassett's strong point, but one mistake ultimately proved costly.
They were not, however, helped by an impotent attack, which struggled mightily to maintain possession despite Brockenhurst's defence being their weakness. In fact, Bassett's best chance fell to Terry Adams with twelve minutes left of the ninety, but even then his shot failed to find the target, his well struck drive being deflected wide by Dave Marden.
It was with some fortune that Bassett did not trail by more come the final whistle. Minutes after conceding, Saadi beat Thompson, but was denied by a goal-line clearance before the defence stood off Kneller just after the restart, however his powerful 25-yard strike went just wide of the left post.
Defeat meant Bassett failed at the opportunity to set up a second consecutive reunion in the FA Cup – victory would have set up an away trip against former Hellenic opponents Bishops Cleeve, who count former Bassett favourite Ben Gascoyne amongst their ranks.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Liam Edmundson – a commanding performance by the youngster at centre back, forming a solid partnership with Chris Oram.
Scoop Rating: 5/10 – the game lacked the sparkle and edge of an FA Cup tie, and Bassett's disappointing performance highlighted this. The defence was strong, but with little to offer up front, Brockenhurst won reasonably comfortably.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38