Corinium Stadium, 13th December 2014
They had numerous chances and most of the play, particularly after Bradford Town were reduced to ten men, but despite this, Wootton Bassett Town's Wiltshire Senior Cup dreams were ended thanks to a pair of first half goals from Sam Jordan.
Bradford's prolific marksmen grabbed his first with a fine finish conjured out of nothing from long range. He then added a second on the stroke of half time with a simple header as Bassett squandered possession from their own free kick and then confounded matters by failing to track Jordan's run.
While Jordan would be dismissed just after the hour for picking up a second yellow card for an embarrassing dive, his cameo was more than enough to settle an at times fraught quarter final tie 2-0 in the favour of last season's runners-up.
That outcome was thoroughly disappointing for Bassett. Defeated by the West Wiltshire outfit earlier in the year in the FA Cup, the chance for revenge was on offer, as well as a spot in the final four of the preeminent County knockout competition.
They determinedly chased this goal, enjoying the better of the play in both periods. Yet missing was the necessary cutting edge to punish Bradford's paunchy and pedestrian back four. This was most evident when Steve Robertson opted for a wayward square pass rather than shoot when through one-on-one and when Nathan Gambling blazed over from close range. Bassett also suffered a bout of misfortune, seeing two chances from corners cleared off the line and Dan Bailey denied by the post.
Not to take anything away from Jordan's finishing, but it didn't help either that the wounds Bassett suffered conceding both goals were largely self-inflicted.
For the first on 18 minutes, Henry Traas was too slow in closing Jordan down after the ball had broke to the forward following a Nathan Hawkins tackle on Twaine Plummer. This allowed Jordan the room to get onto his right foot, and he picked out the bottom corner with a fine effort from 25 yards.
The opener stung the hosts. It arguably came against the run of play too, as Robertson had come close on two occasions in the opening quarter hour. From a Gambling knock down, he fired into the side netting from an angle. Then he poked straight at Ed Baldy from directly in front of goal following a Callum Wright free kick that Bradford were unable to clear.
Robertson's best chance of the game would come shortly after the visitors grabbed the lead though. Seizing on a woeful back pass, Robertson had just Baldy, coming off his line to close the angle, to beat. But eschewing the chance to shoot– admittedly the angle from the left edge of the box was not the easiest, the forward instead sought to square a pass to a teammate yet could only pick out a Bradford defender scrambling back.
Just after the half hour mark, Robertson guided a header from an inswinging Gambling corner towards goal from ten yards. This time he was denied by a headed clearance off the line though. The danger wasn't cleared, however, and Robertson wound up winning a free kick in the left corner, which Dan Bailey smashed towards goal, forcing an awkward parry from Baldy.
While enjoying the better opportunities, the game was by no means one-way traffic, and the hosts were left to breathe a sigh of relief when Aaron Cornwall curled a free kick narrowly wide with the break looming.
Conceding another goal was something Bassett could not afford. In the end, they failed to prevent that before the half time whistle arrived. Looking to switch play to Steve Yeardley from a free kick inside his own half, Richie Carter saw his pass intercepted by Cornwall. It didn't take long for the left back to send a deep cross into the box where Jordan, untracked, glanced a header beyond the reach of Luke Kuczynski.
Seeing the deficit doubled could have proved fatal, but to their credit Bassett did not emerge for the second period in a subdued manner and sought to chase the game from the off.
In fact they had the opening chance of the half when Robertson cut in from the right wing and thrashed a strike towards the near post, which Baldy batted awkwardly. The loose ball dropped into a crowded six yard box, but was hacked clear before any Bassett forward could pounce.
Pushing forward meant that it was likely Bassett would be exposed more at the back and they were almost undone on 55 minutes when Plummer set Jordan free, with Kuczynski remaining composed to deny the forward his hat-trick.
Most of the danger continued to come at the other end though and a low Bailey drive was tipped onto the post by Baldy as luck continued to favour Bradford.
A minute later the visitors were down to ten men as Jordan, again free on goal, took a dramatic tumble when trying to round Kuczynski, earning a second yellow after being cautioned minutes earlier for a handball.
With a man advantage, Bassett enjoyed a significant amount of possession for the remainder of the contest. Yet, frustratingly, this failed to translate into a goal. A Bailey corner was sliced towards goal by a visiting defender only to be cleared off the line before Gambling blazed over on the turn from ten yards after an inside pass from Richards with a quarter hour remaining. That would be the closest Paul Braithwaite's side came to causing Bradford any real anxiety.
The final margin of victory could even have been greater for the visiting team, but Dan Shanley could only guide a Cornwall free kick wide after meeting it at the near post.
Man of the Match: Dale Richards – another impressive display from the young full back, who got forward especially well, helping create a number of Bassett's best chances of the game. When carrying out defensive duties, Richards was as steady as ever.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38