Racecourse Ground, 10th February 2015
A sloppy start to the second half - something that has been a regular downfall for Paul Braithwaite's charges so far this campaign - set Wootton Bassett Town on their way to a 3-1 away defeat at Ascot United as the high-flying Yellamen proved too strong.
Bassett had held their hosts, fresh off their FA Vase triumph on Saturday, in check during an evenly contested opening period.
After a slow start by both teams, the visitors had the first opportunity to take the lead when Henry Traas pounced on a poor Rob Saunders free kick and broke forward at pace. He fed a crossfield pass to Dan Bailey, who cut inside Saunders on the left edge of the area but, instead of attempting to shoot, he sought to pick out Tyler Sheppard with a backheel that failed to come off. Callum Wright also came close, but he spun a 25-yard first timer narrowly over from a short Nathan Gambling corner.
At the other end, Jon Keough's glancing header from Matt Cooper's corner was headed off the line by Callum Wright, while Leon Yarnie headed onto the bar. Two corners in quick succession then resulted in Jon Bennett's shot on the turn being deflected wide before a neat flick at the near post from Lee Boon to connect with the second looped over.
However, a failure to get out of the blocks following the restart soon led to Yarnie steering in from close range, as the troublesome Ascot forward put away his side's third chance in just four second half minutes.
Really they should have been ahead before then, with Jon Bennett firing over from twenty yards before Yarnie was denied by a fine point blank Luke Kuczynski save after Cooper had slid in a low cross to the unmarked frontman in the centre of the box.
Bassett could only ride their luck for so long though, and Yarnie made no mistake when again finding himself with too much room inside the visitors' penalty area.
From then on there was only going to be one winner. The value Ascot placed on possession and their excellent use of space had already forced Bassett to tear around the pitch. And with a deficit to try and overcome, the added exertion meant legs tired quickly and space opened up even more for the home team.
It could have been before the hour when Bennett burst through the Bassett defence only to see Kuczynski race off his line and parry at his feet.
When the second did arrive with twelve minutes remaining it came in style. Cooper's left wing cross was headed only as far as Jesse Wilson on the edge of the box and the central midfielder set the ball to partner in crime Saunders, who dispatched a stunning volley into the top corner.
Five minutes later Ascot had a third as Ian Brooks planted a header from an inswinging Cooper corner beyond Kuczynski.
A fourth went begging when Rob Gier spooned over while unmarked after a swift counter attack in the game's dying stages.
That allowed Bassett to grab a consolation, much to home ‘keeper Chris Grace's frustration. George Drewitt drove forward out of defence before sending a ball into the left corner for Gambling to run onto. The forward then cut the ball back across goal to Joe Hiscock, whose weak shot was fumbled into the path of onrushing substitute Hugo Viveash and he stroked home from close range.
Man of the Match: Henry Traas – an industrious performance as ever from the midfielder.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38