The Elms, 3rd January 2011
What should have been a day to enjoy for Wootton Bassett Town quickly turned into a nightmare as they suffered a 5-1 hammering at the hands of local rivals Highworth Town. Dave Turner's side were buried underneath an avalanche of first half pressure, which culminated in an unassailable 3-0 half time lead for the Worthians, who never looked back.
After 39 days inactive due to the December chill, Bassett appeared as though they desired to have one more day off on account of their inability to keep possession and laggard pace.
Their hosts on the other hand were much the fitter and sharper unit. And that told from the off. Just over sixty seconds after play had got under way, TJ Bohane was afforded far too much room down the right flank and he burst into the Bassett box where he was upended by a trailing Liam Edmondson.
It appeared though that lady luck was set to be on the visitors' side when the tricky forward struck the post with the resulting spot kick.
However, it was merely a prelude to what was to come, with Bohane running the show. The forward, who in his youth featured for Bassett's under 18 Floodlit League side, had demonstrated his creativity when the two sides met earlier in the season. But that day he was unable to find the back of the net despite being presented with a myriad of chances. As demonstrated by his penalty miss, that wasteful side of Bohane was on show again, but he was that much of a thorn in the visitors' side that he was able to net a hat-trick.
With play camped inside Bassett's half it was not long until Highworth eventually made their pressure takes its toll. On 18 minutes an unmarked Richie Saunders stooped low at the near post and guided a header home from a seemingly mishit Bohane corner kick.
Bassett then had a couple brief forays into opposition territory, but were unable to restore parity. Firstly, a Lee Moulton free kick had home ‘keeper Kurtis Sharkey at full stretch, before Alex Green had the ball in the back of the net after Sharkey failed to hold onto a low Sam Collier effort, however he had strayed offside meaning it was ruled out.
From then until half time, the Bassett box was under siege.
Only a deflection prevented a 20-yard Tony Joyce drive from roaring into the back of the net after, once again, a Bohane set piece had only been half cleared.
Stewart Thompson, the game's unfortunate victim, then prevented the lead from being doubled with a string of fine saves.
Firstly, a timely switch out to James Guthrie on the left had the Bassett defence stretched, and after breezing past Shaun Carter the winger fired low from the edge of the box only to see his effort acrobatically tipped wide.
Minutes later, Guthrie ghosted between debutant Matt Boucher and Craig Bowden to latch onto Steve Yeardley's weighted cross at the left hand post, but he failed to beat the veteran custodian with a well executed volley.
From the resulting corner, he did well to keep out Dan Hilder's close range effort after the ball had again found its way through the defence to the far post.
However, he was unable to prevent Bohane from finally getting on the score sheet six minutes from time. He was given little help from those in front of him, who allowed the home side's leading scorer too much space, and Bohane duly punished that mistake, expertly guiding his header into the far right corner from a Guthrie delivery.
Before Bassett knew it, the game was then wrapped up with yet more disappointing defending playing a starring role in the build up. From the left wing, Guthrie squared easily inside to a free Bohane, and following a neat turn that set his sights on goal, he slotted the ball in at the near post with his weaker right foot.
His hat-trick should have been completed moments after the restart when he poked wide from ten yards with just Thompson to beat after latching onto Joyce's defence splitting through pass.
For a few minutes at least his failure to score - and a goal for Bassett out of nothing – made events a little more interesting. Green provided the only moment to celebrate for Turner's team just before the hour when he raced onto Craig Bowden's long ball over the top before slotting past Sharkey for his first since September. It should really have been his second of the afternoon though, but he dragged an effort from ten yards across the face of goal and wide a couple minutes before following a Lee Moulton cut back.
Normal service was quickly resumed, however. With twenty minutes remaining, Kevin Tate's cross from the deep fell perfectly for Bohane, who headed home from twelve yards to finally secure himself the match ball.
The rout was completed with five minutes left when a Highworth break opened up space for Tom Dingle. The substitute powerfully drove forward before squaring back from the byline, and the ball was bundled in by ex-Bassett defender Jonny Aitkenhead, who narrowly beat Shaun Terry in a foot race.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Stewart Thompson – it was a sad indictment of Bassett's performance that a ‘keeper who had to pluck the ball from his net a handful of times be rewarded man of the match, but Thompson ensured a heavy defeat did not become even more embarrassing with some fine saves.
Scoop Rating: 4/10 – not once during the entire ninety minutes did Bassett string together a meaningful number of passes, and their profligacy when in possession only invited trouble.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38