Sam Collier (2), Craig Shand
Eynsham Hall Park Sports Ground, 13th February 2010
At the start of the season there were a few amongst the Rylands Way faithful who questioned Sam Collier's pedigree to be playing at Hellenic League level. His early season form at full back saw the youngster struggle to find his fitness on his comeback after a lengthy injury. However, there will be no doubters left now after yet another two goal match winning performance by Collier leading the line. All match his touch, control and physical presence set up chances for Wootton Bassett and his excellent performances have been the major factor in extending the unbeaten run to fifteen games when the loss of Alex Green to Hungerford could easily have de-railed the side.
Bassett went in front in the opening minutes through Craig Shand, although the goal had a touch of luck about it with the North Leigh players appealing for offside. It was that man Collier who then extended the lead when he intercepted a back pass, ran on to confront the North Leigh keeper who he coolly put on his backside before firing into the empty net. Such is the confidence of Collier at the moment that the celebration also included a Faustino Asprilla style cartwheel as Wootton Bassett found themselves two up whilst playing up the notorious North Leigh slope. Bassett created a number of further good chances but were unable to extend the lead before the break against a very physical North Leigh side who seemed hell bent on putting keeper Stewart Thompson out of the game; Thompson on a couple of occasions being the victim of rash challenges.
The second period saw North Leigh come back into the game as Bassett struggled to take advantage of the slope. Throughout North Leigh were physical and were able to get away with it due to some lenient officiating. Eventually, however, even the referee lost his patience with the home side who ended up with four bookings and a sending off. They did, however, lose youngster Ryan Thomas who was injured in an off the ball incident that could easily have seen more than the yellow card shown to the North Leigh player. Credit through to Wootton Bassett for not getting involved and avoiding any bookings of their own. North Leigh managed to get themselves back into the game ten minutes from time when Wootton Bassett failed to clear a corner properly and Ben Hutter fired past Thompson. This goal gave North Leigh impetus and they began to put the Wootton Bassett goal under pressure. However, any thoughts of dropped points were dispelled completely when Collier scored his second of the match from a corner. With Collier the only striker in the North Leigh box as Bassett sought to hold onto the three points, despite the attention of four North Leigh defenders, he managed to scissor kick a shot past the North Leigh keeper to make sure of the three points. A good performance at a ground that is always tough to get a result from and that unbeaten league run now stands at fifteen games ahead of Wednesday's visit to Clanfield.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38
Sam Collier (2), Craig Shand