R Banks, J Turner
The Red House, 27th March 2010
So came the cry of the Wootton Bassett Town dressing room after a fantastic victory over near neighbours Purton in an enthralling derby match.
The hosts were certainly riled at the ribbing they received in the immediate aftermath of this pivotal match judging by the way in which a number of their side rushed out of their changing room to confront the Bassett players.
But Purton can only have themselves to blame as it was one of their fraternity – defender James Townsend – who ignited the war of words with a message on Facebook in the week regarding how he intended to deal with Bassett frontman Sam Collier that can only be described as childish and pathetic.
However, by placing a target on Collier's back, Purton neglected to pay due attention to the visitors' talented midfield. And it was stunning first half strikes from two of that quartet – James Turner, who has developed a knack for scoring screamers against the Red House outfit, and Ryan Banks – that proved to be the difference; Johnny Coole's composed finished late on ultimately was academic.
Purton were nowhere near the races in the opening period, which Bassett dominated. Despite notching twice though, the game could well have been over as a contest by the time referee Ian Whelan blew his whistle for the break as Collier and strike partner Craig Shand both fluffed relatively simple chances.
Turner and Banks did make their mark though. On 26 minutes Banks did brilliantly to keep Matty Bown's switch in play, and after a fortuitous bounce off Michael Lees' shin he set off down the left before squaring. Shand brilliantly used his body to shield the ball into the path of Turner, who smashed home into the top right corner from all of 30 yards. It is fair to say he could not have struck the ball any sweeter.
Twelve minutes later the lead was doubled. Banks flicked on a long punt from 'keeper Stewart Thompson onto Collier. The winger then peeled away from his man and volleyed home from a similar range after a perfectly weighted chest down from his teammate.
The game's balance of power shifted in favour of Purton after the restart though, thanks in part to the loss of Jon Holloway at the back for Bassett and the introduction by the hosts of Paul Day, who reignited an anaemic attack.
Still, it could have been three for the visitors almost immediately after play's resumption. Bown's dink over the last man set free Terry Adams, and he rounded the onrushing Johnny Cowley. However in doing so he made it almost impossible to score from an extremely acute angle and instead was forced to cut back for Shand. This allowed the home side's 'keeper time to scramble back and he was able to produce a fine save from the forward's powerful effort.
On the hour, a dipping long range effort from Coole forced Thompson into action and the 'keeper did brilliantly to acrobatically tip over off his back foot.
He could do little to prevent the deficit being halved though with eighteen minutes remaining. Scott Campbell's corner was not dealt with properly, and the captain Coole danced around two defenders before firing into the back of the net from just inside the area.
The visitors rode their luck as the clock wound down. Day found only the roof of the net with just Thompson to beat whilst an injury time corner bounced around the box before a powerful effort was blocked on the line. With a twist of irony, it was Purton midfielder Marcus Hall – who began the season at Rylands Way – that found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time to preserve Bassett's three points.
It would have been harsh for the visitors to have been denied the spoils though as Dave Turner's side produced a performance of immense character and determination.
Purton on the other hand will have to stew and eat their words.
Scoop's Man of the Match: James Turner – opened the scoring with an unstoppable effort and was superb in the centre of midfield alongside Terry Adams, thwarting Marcus Hall and Johnny Coole from pulling the strings.
Scoop Rating: 8/10 – although creaking after Coole halved the deficit, the character of this Bassett side was demonstrated by the manner in which they refused to crack. Dominant in the first half, the three points could easily have been in the bag by half time.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38
R Banks, J Turner