N Gambling, J Hiscock
Corinium Stadium, 7th March 2015
While they will be slightly disappointed not to have taken all three points, Wootton Bassett Town will feel a sense of satisfaction with the point earned in a 2-2 draw against high-flying Thame United.
Goals from Joe Hiscock and Nathan Gambling earned Bassett that point, which moves the team back up to 13th, with games still in hand over Holyport and Milton United, the two teams immediately below in the table.
It was a match going into which Paul Braithwaite's charges were underdogs. Bassett have not had much success this season against the teams currently occupying the upper half of the Hellenic League Premier Division, having amassed just five points against those sides headed into this clash. Meanwhile, only a few weeks ago they were comprehensively defeated 4-1 by Thame in Oxfordshire. Meanwhile,
Key to that defeat was Bassett conceding early, which they did again on this occasion when Conor McDonagh, scorer of a hat trick in the previous meeting, scuffed in after the hosts failed to properly defend a third minute corner.
By that point however Bassett had already found the net themselves, Joe Hiscock scoring with a cross that evaded all in the box and flew straight in.
Shortly after McDonagh's equaliser, Bassett restored their lead with a well worked goal. Building from the back, the ball was worked to Dan Bailey, whose through ball beat the last man and found the feet of Nathan Gambling and the forward produced a good left foot finish.
That led to a period of play in which Bassett were firmly on top, with Gambling coming close to grabbing a third as he saw a long range drive fizz past the post.
Yet they were unable to take their advantage into the break as McDonagh restored parity following an avoidable defensive mix up stemming from Bassett conceding possession from their own throw in.
The hosts came agonisingly close to going in front for a third time shortly after the restart when Dale Richards' header from a Gambling cross crashed off the post.
While Thame wasted a sitter as poor marking from a corner left the hosts exposed at another set piece, a finely crafted four man move at the other end culminated in Matt Tapping clawing a Dan Bailey shot around the post. The visitors' 'keeper was quickly called into action again by Bailey, just keeping out a shot from the edge of the area.
As in the opening half, Thame finished the second as the stronger side, but were unable to make that pressure pay as Bassett defended resolutely to seal the draw.
Perhaps out of frustration at not finding a winner against a side the form book suggested they should have been beating, a punch on Hiscock led to the game finishing on a sour note. Both sides were reduced to ten men after the fracas that ensued, with Steve Yeardley taking the rap from the hosts for raising his hands as he sought to protect his teammate.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:39
N Gambling, J Hiscock