Rylands Way, 5th February 2011
Shortwood United delivered a lesson in class to Wootton Bassett Town as the big money Gloucestershire outfit rolled to a 5-1 victory at a windswept Rylands Way. The preseason title favourites were 4-0 up by the break and emphasised the difference in quality that exists between the Hellenic Premier Division's top sides and those, like Bassett, who are hovering in the bottom reaches of the table.
The game quickly got out of hand, with the visitors going two to the good inside the opening twenty minutes. Little could be done to prevent the opener from Ross Casey, but a Stewart Thompson mistake doubled Shortwood's advantage as the 'keeper - not helped by the swirling winds - was left grasping at thin air following a lob into the box from Mish Green that settled into the back of the net.
A sweeping move then opened up the Bassett defence just after the half hour for John Cant to score number three, before a great finish from Alex Allard on the stroke of half time had the home side going into the break hoping to prevent a cricket score.
Admirably they did. Dave Turner's side, came out a different unit following the break and matched their opponents with half time substitutes Mark McMeeking and Ethan Delaney coming on and shoring things up at both ends of the pitch.
The visitors struck first following the restart when a free kick was left alone, gifting Green a free header at the far post.
However, Bassett's endeavour was eventually rewarded when James Turner bundled the ball home. It was a slightly fortunate goal given that it came from a rebound after a Richie Carter penalty had been saved, but it was well deserved for a team who did not buckle despite the avalanche of goals they had conceded in the opening 45 minutes.
Luckily in games like this, it is only a team's goal difference column that gets damaged, and it would be unreasonable to have expected to get anything from this game anyway given the opposition. But rest assured, the team need to bounce back quickly with two games of huge importance in the next seven days, beginning with the visit of Carterton on Tuesday. A derby encounter with Shrivenham then follows. Points from both of those games will go a long, long way to ensuring survival and having a chance to close the gap between themselves and the likes of Shortwood in the coming years.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38