S Collier (2), T Adams, C Shand
Rylands Way, 23rd March 2010
It may not have come as a result of a vintage Wootton Bassett Town performance, but the significance of their 4-2 triumph over struggling Winterbourne United should not be downplayed.
Having failed to win three straight home games against weaker opposition, Bassett's promotion prospects looked as though they were fading fast. But in arresting that slump – and with a few favours thrown in from the team's surrounding them in the quest for a spot in the Hellenic Premier Division – Dave Turner's side are back on track for an elusive top three finish.
Not only that, but the long awaited victory provides a much needed confidence boost heading into a tricky run that sees Bassett face fellow title chases Purton and Slimbridge, with a visit from basement side Launton Sports sandwiching those games.
Sam Collier was the main goal-getter on the night, bagging another brace, but it was two goals in quick succession midway through the second half that sealed the three points for the hosts on a testing evening.
Craig Shand provided the first of those, neatly sidestepping Dafyd Jones to tap home after reacting quickest to a spill from the visiting 'keeper before Terry Adams wrapped things up with a sublime 25-yard drive that nestled in the bottom right corner.
Despite a dominant start to the match – the first minute saw Winterbourne having to clear off the line after a perfectly delivered corner, Bassett went behind just after the half hour mark when slack defending once again was the team's undoing.
Mark Brooker's long throw was not dealt with properly, the clearance falling straight back to him, and he was able to deliver an inch perfect cross from the left that James Maidstone smartly volleyed home after easily losing the attentions of his marker.
This seemed to take the wind out of Bassett's sails and it appeared as though they would be heading into the break a goal down against a team who had created just the one chance in the opening half and played some of the most uninspiring football seen at Rylands Way for many a year.
However, Sam Collier – a man who has been on a mission since moving up front – had other ideas. He was denied two minutes before half time when, after neat interplay between Adams and Ryan Banks, he was able to roll his marker but could only hit straight at Jones from ten yards.
Yet his effort under a minute later was unstoppable. He was somewhat fortunate to see the ball fall at his feet after a poorly hit free kick from Bown was sliced in his direction by a visiting defender.
But Bassett's top marksman still had plenty of work to do. After making his marker look silly once again and cutting inside onto his weaker right foot he curled the ball into the top right corner, leaving Jones no chance whatsoever.
After surviving a scare shortly after the restart when Jimmy Potts broke loose and cut back for Dale Emery, who could only fire over, Collier put the hosts ahead. Following patient build up play around the Winterbourne area, Adams produced an exquisite reverse pass that the forward latched onto having narrowly beat the offside trap. He then coolly rounded Jones before tapping in.
Seemingly in the ascendancy once more, wasteful play saw the deficit eradicated just before the hour. Guilty of overplaying in midfield, the home side were caught out by a quick break. And after Jon Holloway's sliced clearance fell straight to an unmarked Potts there was only ever going to be one outcome as he raced through to score.
It seemed as though Bassett were yet again on course to underwhelm, and luck seemed to have departed them in the 66th minute when twice the visitors were able to hack the ball off the line after another troublesome Bown corner.
But three minutes later they had the lead once more. James Turner's fizzing shot from the edge of the area could only be parried, allowing Shand to jump in and score. Moments later Adams made it four with his long-range strike – a strike more than worthy of sealing the points.
There was a late scare when Potts was afforded too much space, but his powerful shot from a tight-angle was parried wide by Stewart Thompson, who – apart from having to twice pick the ball out of his net – was seldom tested throughout the match.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Craig Bowden – a phenomenal performance from the youngster at right back. Committed in the tackle, Bowden won virtually every ball he went for on the night and was composed as ever on the ball, linking up well with Matty Bown.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – not the performance of the season, but it was enough to clinch a much needed three points. The conditions on the evening were less than ideal, leading to the match not being one for the purists.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38
S Collier (2), T Adams, C Shand