Folland Park, 11th September 2010
Dave Turner put his chips down on black and came out a winner. Well, almost.
His decision to withdraw defender Liam Edmondson and replace him with midfielder Terry Adams eight minutes before half time – thus shifting from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2 – seemed slightly baffling at the time considering the constant pressure his side were being put under.
However, it certainly paid dividends in Wootton Bassett Town's FA Cup first qualifying round tie with Hamble ASSC as the transition coincided with the visitors coming back into the game, allowing them to ultimately force a replay against the Wessex Premier side following a hard-fought 1-1 draw.
Prior to the change, Bassett had been decisively outplayed by Hamble and were fortunate to have found themselves just a goal down going into half time.
Fortunately, all but one of the hosts' dangerous attacking quartet – containing James Musselwhite, Jamie Barron, Richard Gregory and James Roden – seemed to have forgotten their shooting boots.
In the opening five minutes a long ball over the top caught the visitors out, and Musselwhite squared to an unmarked Roden, who scuffed wide from the edge of the area.
On the quarter hour mark, he had another fantastic opportunity to break the deadlock, but saw his effort cannon off the bar following great link up play between Musselwhite and left winger Gregory.
A goal seemed almost inevitable at this point and it finally came from Musselwhite, who bundled home after a Gregory corner had not been cleared properly. After the ball had been recycled, ‘keeper Adam Miles was beaten to the ball, and despite a half hearted attempt to clear it off the line the forward was able to poke home.
Barron was then denied by a point-blank save from Miles after being set free before Lloyd Webber's side-foot volley was hacked off the line by Matty Bown following a Gregory corner on the stroke of half time.
After soaking up so much pressure, Bassett finally got themselves into the match after the restart. Helping the cause was the fact that with the addition of Adams, they finally were able to enjoy possession in the centre of the park. But initially this was not converted into clear cut chances, the final ball being elusive, and Hamble continued to threaten at the other end.
However, neither Roden, Musselwhite nor Ashley Jarvis could locate the target when presented with an opening.
On 65 minutes, Bassett's persistence was finally rewarded when Jon Beeden, leaping to try connect with a Ryan Banks cross, received a shove to the back, thus earning a penalty. Confident as you could be, he dusted himself off and emphatically drilled the ball home to equalise to bag his fourth goal of the season, the third of which has come from twelve yards.
The introduction of Ethan Delaney then further sparked Bassett into life. Unable to cope with the young livewire's pace, the home defence became increasingly suspect. Yet, indecisiveness with the ball in the final third meant Jon Webb was not tested as much as he could have been.
Often, Delaney would be left with just defender Webber – by no means fleet of foot – between him and the home ‘keeper, but instead of driving onwards he would cut inside or wait for support, allowing the hosts to recover.
As the clock wound down though - and with both sides looking to avoid having to play an extra ninety minutes – chances to win the game emerged. For Hamble, Gregory side-footed wide from the edge of the area after Barron had rolled marker Craig Bowden and squared to the unmarked winger.
Then, substitute Paul West cut inside from the left wing, before firing a low effort from 30 yards that had Miles beaten. Fortunately though the ball rattled the near upright and was swept to safety by Shaun Carter.
It was Bassett who would have the final – and perhaps best chance – to seal a historic victory. In injury time, having rode a challenge, Banks split the defence with a through ball to Sean Bailey. With just Webb to beat, the odds seemed stack in favour of the midfielder scoring, but instead he struck straight at the ‘keeper, who parried the ball away.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Adam Miles – a confident display between the sticks despite the barrage of chances the hosts had. In the first half, his day was not made easy thanks to the nervy performance of those in front of him and his point-blank save from James Roden was particularly impressive.
Scoop Rating: 7/10 – Bassett showed an immense amount of character and resolve in the second half after a poor showing in the opening period. Dave Tuner's gamble in withdrawing a defender so early turned out to be a shrewd move that stemmed the flow of Hamble chances and allowed his side to gain a foothold in the match.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38