Car Park 10, 20th October 2010
Position Colours Form Name Trainer
6 Yellow & Blue WLWWLL Ascot United Stuart Scammell
13 Red & White WLLLLL Wootton Bassett Town Dave Turner
Going: Good to firm, firm in places
Wootton Bassett Town, after a spirited performance, faded down the final stretch and in doing so lost by three lengths, albeit short ones, against early form side Ascot United. In a physical, and at times petulant, encounter, neither side finished the ninety minutes with its full complement of starters.
Neck and neck with twenty minutes to go after Bassett's rearguard stoically ensured any counters from the home side were kept in check, Ascot caught their visitors napping when Tim Standing drilled a first time effort from twenty yards into the bottom right corner to open the scoring. The classy midfielder was somewhat lucky to still have been on the pitch though after a crunching, needless challenge on Ethan Delaney had only merited him a yellow card minutes prior.
After going a goal behind, Bassett ran out of breath, unable to deliver a counterpunch.
The gap was widened seven minutes later as Dave Turner's side shot themselves in the foot. Substitute Elliot Knight had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes, and this showed as he played a wayward backpass straight to home forward Jon Bennett, who galloped past a helpless Stewart Thompson before slotting the ball comfortably home.
Trying desperately to claw their way back, Bassett were then caught on the break with eleven minutes remaining following a clinical counter. A swift passing move saw the ball fall to a wide open Sam McIntyre on the left wing, and he cut inside before drilling the ball into opposite corner from the edge of the box.
The final score though certainly flattered the hosts, who were made to work extremely hard for the victory. Ascot narrowly edged an extremely tight first half, but were unable to convert their territorial advantage into a goal. The best chance of the opening period arguably fell to Bassett as a header from a Matt Bown corner was blocked on the line
However, Ascot must be credited not only for some of the football they played (Bassett equally got the ball on the deck and stroked it around, albeit unfortunately not to the same effect as the hosts), but also for the way they did not cave in after being reduced to ten men just before the break when Rob Saunders was dismissed for a foul mouthed tirade directed at Jon Beeden.
On the other hand, some of Stuart Scammell's side's antics were disappointing. This isn't to say Bassett were angels on the night, because they weren't; the five bookings – two of which were received by Beeden – were testament to that. But the way in which the Ascot players constantly hounded the referee, and took it upon themselves to wind up their opponents left a poor taste.
Two cases in the dying stages of the game highlight this. Firstly, the reaction of defender Paul McGrotty, who was also sent off for two bookable offences, to the kind of jostling you see at every corner kick was uncalled for. In needlessly squaring up to Beeden, the man the defender was marking, there is no doubt that McGrotty helped earn the Bassett full back a suspension.
Then, after having been beaten by pace, substitute Simon Knight wrestled Delaney to the floor before copying the tactics of his teammate and going head-to-head with the young forward. By this point – three minutes into stoppage time and with almost a dozen cards already produced – the referee showed a modicum of common sense and only delivered a stern warning.
Sadly the ugly side of their game took a shine off the beautiful side of it.
Scoop's Man of the Match: James Turner – while Tim Standing pulled the strings effectively from the centre of midfield for the hosts, Turner impressively did the same for Bassett. He was effective in breaking up attacks with well timed tackles and his passes never went astray.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – two mistakes cost Bassett against opponents they matched up to extremely well for the majority of the game. Both sides played attractive football, although the game became farcical towards the end with a number of petty fouls being committed and bookings dished out at will.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38