Rylands Way, 17th December 2011
It was the kind of start Dave Turner was dreading in a crucial derby encounter with Purton: A goal down and reduced to ten men after Russell Driver saw red for a deliberate handball in the box just twenty minutes in. Thereafter, Purton turned the screw, doubling their lead before the break. And though able to grab a late equaliser, come full time Wootton Bassett Town had succumbed 2-1 in a fixture where a positive result - be it a draw or victory - was required.
There could be few complaints come the final whistle, just regrets. Once again this season, a local derby had been more and less decided early with Bassett the instigators of their own downfall.
In Driver's defence, it was instinct which led to him using his hands to block a shot thumped towards him from less than five yards. The consequences though were serious. A red card, a penalty that Marcus Hall swept home, and near relentless pressure for the rest of the half.
The classy Hall netted a second seven minutes before the break as the visitors made their dominance count. It could well have been 3-0 prior to the half time whistle when Purton were awarded another spot kick. Hall stepped up again, attempting to complete his hat-trick against his former team but contrived to miss. It meant the hosts retained a lifeline, however slim.
Following the restart Bassett tightened up, ensuring that the advantage gained by having an extra man was not as noticeable as it had been.
Eventually Bassett were able to gain a foothold in the match, midfielder James Turner scoring his third of the season ten minutes from time. However, it proved to be of mere consolation.
The three points lost to a rival for third place mean that Turner's side can ill afford to drop points in their remaining games in hand. Previously Bassett have thrived under such pressure. It's time to do so again.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38