J Holloway, J Turner
Rylands Way, 31st August 2009
Local derbies are generally never short of controversy, and that was certainly the case when Wootton Bassett Town locked horns for the first time this season with near neighbours Purton.
However, the two sides were not to blame for the game's major talking points. Instead responsibility lay with referee Ashman, who awarded three penalties – one debatable, the other two downright farcical.
This trio of incidents overshadowed what should be the game's memorable moment, namely James Turner's 27th minute strike, which gave the hosts the lead.
Frankie Hunt's corner was punched away by Jonny Cowley but only as far as an unmarked Turner lurking on the edge of the box. And with one ferocious swing of his right boot he found the bottom left corner from thirty yards.
Bassett had not really enjoyed the best of starts but were on the verge of being able to go into the break two goals to the good when Adam Field proved slightly too quick for James Townsend after chasing down what seemed to be a lost cause, and was upended by the burly defender.
Luke Sharps stepped up to the plate to take the spot kick, but went for far too much power and absolutely no placement, blasting the ball straight at a thankful Cowley.
The penalty sandwiched two brilliant saves from Stewart Thompson, who has been in fabulous form throughout the start of the season. Firstly, he parried at the feet of Warren Fuller after the prolific forward latched onto a ball over the top. Then on the stroke of the half time whistle, he acrobatically leapt across goal to tip a clever free kick from Johnny Coole around the post.
He was eventually beaten by Fuller just thirty seconds after the restart, following a dreadful decision which resulted in Steve Groom being penalised for trying to shepherd the ball out of play.
The Bassett defender was under pressure from Ashley Gooch, so put his body in between the diminutive winger and the ball. As a result the midfielder ran into him and after falling to the floor a penalty was awarded.
Fuller sent Thompson the wrong way to equalise and then put the visitors ahead on the hour, coolly slotting home after Tom Cadden's through ball split the home defence.
The lead failed to last though. With 17 minutes left, it was the visitors turn to be on the receiving end of an extremely harsh decision. Hunt delivered a teasing cross from the right, which evaded all in the penalty box.
At the far post Sam English and Paul Blagden both went up to win the header, and the Purton player's momentum took him into English. Jon Holloway showed little sympathy though and confidently placed the ball into the bottom left corner, giving Cowley no chance.
Unsurprisingly – given what had happened, the game finished with a whimper, rather than a bang.
A melee ensued with ten minutes left after Jamie Richards hacked down Hunt, but somehow no red cards were produced.
From the resulting free kick debutant Rob Dean flashed a 15-yard effort over, before – with five minutes to go – Ryan Thomas intercepted a throw in intended for Cowley, rounded the stranded 'keeper but saw his tight-angled left-foot effort blocked.
The grandstand finish such a scoreline would usually produce had been well and truly prevented.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Chris Oram – both him and Purton's James Townsend were figures of force at the back. Oram in particular helped keep goal happy opposition in check.
Scoop Rating: 5/10 – Bassett will rue not coming away from this game with all three points, but they were not helped by the penalty decision which allowed Purton to equalise.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38
J Holloway, J Turner