T Adams, L Edmundson, A Green
Rylands Way, 7th November 2009
Football is often described as a funny, old game, and that adage was exemplified by Wootton Bassett Town's battle with Easington Sports, in which Dave Turner's side ultimately prevailed by the odd goal in five.
A controversial Alex Green penalty just prior to the hour mark, which also resulted in the sending off of visiting shotstopper Kurt Fox, decided the destination of the three points, but the nature in which Bassett saw off the final half hour with a man advantage was certainly confusing.
Defender Michael Earle took over the gloves for the visitors, and his prowess between the stick was notable early on. He failed to dive for the penalty, before fumbling a routine catch moments later. Yet, he was hardly tested.
Instead, the action shifted to the other end, as the Bassett defence had to endure a huge amount of pressure in the final half hour. And they didn't make things any easier for themselves as possession was squandered far too easily – something which shouldn't be the case against ten men – and all signs of confidence evaporated.
Easington, thankfully for Dave Turner's side, only produced one chance of note during this spell though. With six minutes left, Dan Reeves – who assisted his side's two goals – sent in another dangerous cross from the right, and Greg Shawyer met the ball with a low first time effort, but an outstretched Stewart Thompson was able to prevent his side throwing away two points.
Excluding Craig Robinson being almost gifted a goal in the opening seconds of the game, the initial twenty minutes of the game suggested it would be a comfortable win for Bassett as they raced into a two goal lead.
On six minutes, a delicious in-swinging corner from debutant Shaun Wimble was headed home by an unmarked Liam Edmondson.
Then Terry Adams doubled the lead with a sublime finish. A Wimble cross was only half cleared, and Adams was given far too much time on the ball on the edge of the box. And he picked his spot perfectly, curling the ball into the top right corner past a despairing Fox.
But this lead was to be thrown away. A Reeves cross was headed in by an unmarked Steve Howkins at the left post midway through the first period.
Just before the break, a defence splitting long ball was latched onto by Craig Robinson, and he should have done better as his first touch took the ball away from him when one-on-one with Thompson.
After Adams dragged a shot narrowly wide to begin the second half, Howkins levelled things up at the other end on 52 minutes. Outstretched, he provided the deftest of touches to guide another expertly placed cross from Reeves into the bottom right corner.
There was still plenty of time for the game to change though, and that it did just over 120 seconds later. A headed back-pass from Shaun Lambourne fell woefully short and Green was first to the loose ball. Attempting to round Fox, he went to ground rather theatrically, and initially referee Ashman refused to reward a penalty.
However, his assistant felt there was contact to merit such a decision and led to the 'keeper's harsh dismissal.
Green nonchalantly slid home the penalty past the stand-in Earle, which in the end sealed victory and lifted Bassett above their opponents and into fourth.
However, this wasn't complete until after a hairy final half hour.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Liam Edmondson – a figure of force at the back, leading the defence superbly in the absence of Chris Oram. His early goal was the icing on the cake of an outstanding afternoon.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – another Jekyll and Hyde performance from Bassett, but fortune favoured them in the end. The three points – and the rise from seventh to fourth – are what matter most.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38
T Adams, L Edmundson, A Green