D Charman, S Reason
Rylands Way, 27th December 2011
Come full time the final score read Wootton Bassett Town 2 New College 5, a horribly one-sided outcome from a game that for much of the match had been relatively even. Two factors though can be seen to have determined that result: the College side's young legs and some late, emphatic finishing.
It meant throwing away a 2-1 half time lead earned through well taken goals from Daryl Charman and Sam Reason was doubly costly for the hosts. New College found themselves on the scoresheet at half time thanks to a late festive gift from their hosts. Four goals in the final quarter of an hour of the match then stunned a tired and depleted Bassett.
In the early reckoning neither side took control of the game with possession fairly even. However it was the visitors who almost took an early advantage when the home defence left a dangerous Ryan Stanners' free kick for one another, allowing the unmarked Jon Rees a free head at goal at the far right post. Yet Adam Miles denied him with a fine point blank parry.
On the quarter hour mark New College were guilty of overplaying at the back - something which would be a common occurrence - and James Turner seized possession before feeding left midfielder Russell Driver. Driver attempted to lift the ball over the advancing Alex Swatridge from a tight angle, but the 'keeper's fingertips ensured the ball wound up out for a corner as opposed to a goal.
Five minutes later Charman ensured the visiting shotstopper would have to claw the ball out from the back of the net though. Rising highest to meet Alex Green's cross from the left wing, the recent signing guided a towering header home from ten yards.
The lead lasted a matter of seconds though. Guilty of switching off, Bassett allowed the visitors to saunter into the final third where a scramble on the edge of the box ensued. Chances to clear were wasted and a fortuitously position Gio Wrona seized on the loose ball and sent a low shot towards goal. It appeared to present Miles with a routine save, but his defences failed him as he saw the ball squirm through his arms and beneath his body before slowly drifting across the line.
Miles made up for his error with a superb parry to deny Wrona after the midfielder had latched onto Rees' precise through ball following some neat build-up on the right wing.
Where New College failed after some delightful interplay, Bassett succeeded on the stroke of half time. Craig Bowden, Driver and Green all were involved down the left before the decisive pass from Charman on the edge of the box set free Reason. And after his first touch took him away from the last defender, he clipped the ball past Swatridge from 12 yards.
Following the restart Bassett held onto their lead relatively comfortably despite the obvious signs that they were beginning to tire. With only 12 men available, and the one substitution used at the break when Luke Sharps had to replace James Blake due to the midfielder receiving a knock to the ankle, it was always going to be a case of resisting whatever New College threw forward.
But their only chance of note early on after the resumption of play came when Todd Hathaway headed Stanners' cross into the side netting. Wrona then attempted an effort from range after turning both Turner and Reason, but the midfielder's dipping 30 yard strike sailed over.
Bassett's best opening fell to Driver when he dinked the ball over his marker inside the penalty area, but he could only follow that piece of skill with a weak stab at goal from close range which Swatridge comfortably collected.
New College then continued to come closer but to no avail as Brad Stanners and Conner Guiness wasted chances. For all their good football, the end product seemed to be absent.
But they suddenly found the ability to finish with devastating effect.
The scores were levelled with 78 minutes on the clock when Josh Skeates shot past his marker before cutting the ball back from the byline for Rees to volley in from a matter of yards.
Six minutes later they were ahead. Adam Corcoran was caught in possession high up the pitch and Guiness whipped in a ball from the left touchline which Skeates expertly took down. The forward then produced an emphatic finish from just inside the area to find the top left corner.
In the 90th minute Skeates added his second by starting and finishing a swift, flowing move. On halfway he sprayed the ball out wide to Rees, who proceeded to dart down the right wing. When he approached the edge of the area, he unselfishly squared back to Skeates, who then picked out the bottom left corner with precision.
Brad Stanners padded the score with a controlled header from Rees' right wing cross.
The size of the defeat hurt, its impact potentially even more so.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Alex Green - worked hard up front, linking up well with new strike partner Daryl Charman. Green supplied the cross for Bassett's first and was heavily involved in other attacks.
Scoop Rating: 4.5/10 - after conceding the third Bassett's afternoon went awry and they could no longer provide resistance to New College's continued attacks. What appeared to be a solid half time position was not so and a crushing final quarter of an hour put a dent in Bassett's push for third.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38
D Charman, S Reason