Rylands Way, 16th April 2011
Wootton Bassett Town failed to have their say in the title race, losing miserably 4-0 against Wantage Town, who went to the summit of the Hellenic Premier Division as a result.
When the two teams met earlier in the season, Dave Turner's side produced a fantastic display that earned them all three points. And following Bassett's recent spell of great form, Wantage undoubtedly arrived at Rylands Way anticipating a tricky encounter.
They would therefore have been surprised at the ease with which they cantered to their victory. Deservedly a goal to the good at the break, they experienced only the briefest of troublesome spells after the restart before putting the game to bed with three simple goals.
Never needing to step up the tempo, the visitors were the better side from the off, and twice were denied an early lead by two assured Stewart Thompson saves.
The veteran custodian was first equal to a Stuart Cattell header following a testing Tom Butler corner. He then produced a fine parry to keep out Butler's half volley after a Mark McMeeking header was not enough to get the ball clear.
The home side almost caught Wantage out on the break shortly after. Quick play down the right created an opening for Tuesday's hat-trick hero Alex Green, but his firmly struck effort was parried wide by an equally firm Gareth Tucker fist.
Tucker was almost beaten from the resulting corner, which Ethan Delaney connected with, but the young forward's volley was always rising and narrowly missed the target.
The visitors then finally found their breakthrough. Just after the half hour, an uncontested square ball found Niall Hodgkins lurking 25 yards from goal, and after taking a touch he unleashed a powerful drive which flew into the bottom left corner.
Bassett came out fastest following the restart and came close to equalising twice within the period's first seven minutes.
A low free kick from the edge of the area after Delaney appeared to have been felled in the box was sent narrowly wide by Sam Collier. Green's neat layoff to Sam Packer then presented the midfielder with a one-on-one opportunity but just before shooting, the ball took a wicked bobble and Packer lifted it over the bar from close range.
This though was the only play of the half they would have.
It didn't take long for the visitors to punish Bassett's profligacy as Butler completed a flowing move by smashing the ball beneath Thompson to double Wantage's lead on 50 minutes.
Ten minutes later Butler's weighted corner was missed by the 'keeper and nodded in from close range by an unmarked Matt Biddle.
Another set piece completed the rout. Scott Dewar this time provided the assist as Danny Keen nodded his corner in at the far post after Thompson once again was beaten by the ball's flight.
It completed a miserable afternoon for Bassett, whose performance was mystifying given their recent run of form. They can put that right Tuesday against Abingdon Town in a match, which will go a long way to deciding Bassett's final position in the table. A victory would almost certainly guarantee them a place above the Abbots.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Sam Packer – worked well again in the midfield, spending time both in the middle of the park and out wide. He was industrious as usual and unlucky not to score, falling victim to the famed ‘Bassett bobble'.
Scoop Rating: 4/10 – a massive comedown after the previous three matches. Wantage were always favourites, but Bassett put up little fight with the chance to play spoiler to the visitors' title hopes. Wantage's performance couldn't be faulted but was not overwhelming, as they were aided by the hosts' underwhelming play.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38