Follands Park, 1st September 2012
For the first time this season Wootton Bassett Town suffered defeat. And they were taught a serious lesson by their FA Vase conquerors GE Hamble in the process.
The 6-0 margin was an emphatic reflection of the difference in quality between the two sides, with Hamble's slick passing, well-drilled defence and tireless pressing in stark contrast to their visitors, who were often careless in possession and lacking in organisation in front of ‘keeper Stewart Thompson.
Dave Turner's team started relatively brightly, with the forward trio of Mark Barnes, Matt Bennett and Shaun Terry linking up well. But Bassett failed to take advantage of any of their forays into Hamble territory, failing to register an effort at goal.
And they were punished for their inability to do so in just the ninth minute when the hosts went ahead. It was a sloppy way to fall behind too. A goal kick received a faint flick onwards, catching Liam Edmondson out, and with plenty of room to size up his effort, Richard Gregory blasted a half volley into the back of the net from twenty yards.
Gregory almost grabbed a second moments later when he fired a volley narrowly wide after Ashley Jarvis' neat touch.
Hamble were by now in control, but there was one brief moment when an equaliser appeared possible. Matt Bown released Bennett behind the home defence with a weighted ball into the left channel. ‘Keeper Ryan Gosney decided to race miles off his line to try and beat the Bassett forward to the ball, but Bennett's pace proved too much and he raced past the shotstopper. Despite there being an open goal, the angle was a difficult one and his effort was blocked. However, Bennett quickly regained possession, squaring for Barnes, who could not find the target with his snap effort.
Far too often though Bassett struggled to get out of defence. Either they hurried play, throwing long balls forward that were comfortably dealt with, or were forced into misplaced passes thanks to Hamble pressure.
Nevertheless, rhe hosts failed to extend their lead before the break despite their territorial dominance. Thompson acrobatically tipped a Gregory curler that seemed destined for the top corner over the bar, while Rory Williams cannoned a free kick inches wide of the post.
Hamble would not wind up paying for their profligacy though. Quickly they reasserted their supremacy and were three goals to the good by the hour. In the 54th minute, after Shaun Terry was dispossessed following a strong challenge, Gregory instantly sprayed the ball for Williams on the left and the impressive midfield arrowed a firm drive into the opposite corner. Two minutes later Williams' precise cross was headed in by an unmarked Jarvis.
With the game now over, Bassett began to wilt and were caught out again soon after. Guilty of overplaying in their own half, the ball was wrestled away from Bown and broke to Williams. His strike was parried by Thompson, but Liam Crook was first to follow up, bundling in the rebound.
It was five in the 80th minute as Jarvis finished off a fine move. Dan Turner's exquisite through ball, played with the outside of his boot, split the home defence. Gregory unselfishly checked back, squaring to Crook and his slide rule pass enabled a wide open Jarvis to beat Thompson with a low effort.
Another immediately followed, Jarvis completing his hat-trick in somewhat fortunate circumstances when his shot struck the post and bobbled in.
The hosts more than deserved to win by a convincing score. Maybe though it will turn out to be a positive for Bassett, who were given a clear lesson on where it is they need to improve. And they have a chance to demonstrate they have taken heed of their humbling loss to Hamble in Friday's FA Cup clash with near neighbours Highworth Town.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38