Rylands Way, 16th August 2011
In matches where chances come at a premium, all it takes is the one mistake to determine the outcome. Proof of that was Wootton Bassett Town's agonising second loss in succession as they were defeated 1-0 by visitors Old Woodstock Town at Rylands Way.
With two minutes remaining until half time and the Bassett defence moving up-field having successfully repelled an attack, a careless backwards header from the midfield sent visiting midfielder Murray Nichols free. One-on-one with a now stranded 'keeper Stewart Thompson, he scuffed his shot across goal. But with an unmarked Liam Godin lurking at the left post, all it took was a simple tap-in to amend for his teammate's poor effort.
There was a large suspicion of offside surrounding the goal - following the match the referee and his assistant apologised to Bassett boss Dave Turner for failing to spot that Godin had strayed beyond the second-to-last defender. But had the initial error not been committed, Bassett may well have found themselves with their first point of the season come full time.
Both teams impressed with their football in varying spells of the match, and it appeared as though nothing was going to separate the two sides as both defences stood firm during the majority of the match.
When openings were created though, they were good ones. Simple, yet effective play four minutes in deserved a better outcome for the hosts, but Sam Packer drilled a 15 yard effort over after defence splitting Matt Bown through ball and Mitch Wyatt cut back.
At the other end, a looping cross from the left wing caused panic in the Bassett box on ten minutes, but desperate defending saw shots from both Chris Gilkes and Danny Green blocked. Moments later Nichols had a 20-yard blast deflected wide with Thompson off his line after the 'keeper had no option but to attempt to punch away from the edge of his area.
The two teams then settled down, cancelling each other out despite fine attempts to carve out chances with some fine football. Indeed, in Bassett's case, it could be argued they themselves limited their opportunities by trying to play too much football when the visitors were pressing and too little when afforded space and time on the ball.
The game opened up again though in the first half's final ten minutes. Ethan Delaney, latching onto a long Thompson kick, caused problems for the visitors as he cut in from the wing, leaving his marker for dead before squaring for a lurking Sam Collier. But excellent last ditch defending saw the forward prevented from getting off a shot from close range.
At the other end, a piledriver from Danny Bone could only be parried away by an outstretched Thompson, with Shaun Carter - finding himself in the right place at the right time - having to boot the ball to safety.
Nichols and Collier were then both denied as the game appeared destined to be deadlocked at the break. However, kamikaze defending and the linesman's poor judgement combined to ensure that was not to be the case.
Following the restart, both teams reverted to type as they cancelled one another out. However, with five minutes to go Bassett wasted a great opportunity, fashioned seemingly out of nowhere, to restore parity. A through ball from Richie Carter sent fellow substitute Alex Harper racing towards goal with a pair of Old Woodstock defenders trailing in his wake. With just the onrushing 'keeper Joe Murrell to beat, Harper, rather than try to find either of the bottom corners, attempted a lofted shot from 20 yards, which was batted to safety.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Liam Edmundson - along with Craig Bowden, Edmundson was solid at full back. Defensively he allowed little to get past, while he was more than willing to involve himself going forward, working well with Matt Bown down the right flank.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 - a good enough performance, but a disappointing result. One mistake killed Dave Turner's side, who - along with their opponents - played some neat football at times, although arguably too much was played in certain areas, which curtailed attacks.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38