Harvey Scholes (2), Dan Bailey, Nathan Hawkins
A superb performance from Royal Wootton Bassett Town on Monday night secured Bassett a trip to Windsor in the next round of the F.A. Vase following a thrilling 4-3 victory away at Binfield.
Given the circumstances of having to travel to Binfield on a Monday night minus their four most experienced players in Steve Yeardley, Adam Corcoran, Richie Carter and top scorer Steve Robertson, few would have predicted what happened on Monday night. With six players starting the game under the age of 19 and with 17 year old Hugo Vivash on the bench it was a very inexperienced side that Bassett fielded at Stubbs Lane. The one thing with youth is that they show no fear and this performance demonstrated that admirably.
Royal Wootton Bassett went close to taking the lead on 5 minutes when an audacious shot from Dan Bailey from his own half nearly caught out Binfield keeper Nathan Silver. Having been done on Saturday with a shot over his head Silver only just managed to do enough to keep out Bailey's cheeky effort.
Binfield's first effort on goal came on 9 minutes from Liam Ferdinand but his shot was easily saved by Curtis Meare in the Bassett goal. Bassett immediately counter attacked and great set up play between Dan Bailey and Steve Olphert put Kalum Youngsam through but his effort was well saved by Silver. The best chance of the night so far fell to Binfield on 20 minutes when, after good set-up play, James Knight missed a sitter. The game continued to be very open and played at pace, with Binfield hurrying every throw-in and free kick. On 30 minutes a shot from Matt Cheetham was well held by Silver. Binfield themselves had another glorious chance to take the lead on 36 minutes when a ball to the far post found Liam Ferdinand in acres of space but his header was poor and did not trouble Curtis Meare in the Bassett goal. The deadlock was finally broken on 37 minutes when Harvey Scholes became the second player in a couple of days to beat Silver from distance with a cracking 30 yard shot screaming over the keepers head and into the back of the Binfield net. So, whilst Binfield had more the possession in the first period it was Bassett that went into the half time break with the slender lead.
Three minutes after the break things were to get even better for Bassett when a great solo run from young Harvey Scholes beat 5 players and ended with a cool finish with a shot into the bottom right hand corner of the Binfield net, 2-0 Bassett and a very shocked home side. On a night of great goals Jemel Johnson brought Binfield back into the game with another quality goal. Coming in from wide on the left, he played a one-two with Liam Ferdinand before hitting a brilliant dipping volley from 25 yards in off the far post. The game continued to ebb and flow and Binfield introduced substitute Brad Brown who was then booked after a very silly two footed lunge within minutes of coming on. On other days this would have resulted in a straight red and both Brown and Binfield benefitted from the referee's leniency when moments later he curled a ball into the Bassett net from the edge of the box to bring Binfield level with half an hour left to play.
At that moment all present probably expected the young Bassett side to capitulate but they continued to work hard defensively and keep the home side from getting their noses in front. Brown again tested Curtis Meare and only the keeper's finger tips with the help of the post kept the score level. Whilst soaking up the pressure Bassett were always a threat on the break and when Dan Bailey rose highest on 82 minutes to meet a left wing cross from man of the match Scholes, his downward header gave Silver no chance and Bassett were back in front again. Having got back in front surely Bassett would not throw away the lead again? However, a controversial corner award six minutes from time allowed Binfield to continue to exert pressure. With Bassett still smarting from the corner award Lewis Leonetti connected with the corner, but this was cleared off the line but Liam Ferdinand was there to force the ball home. 3-3 and still five minutes to play in this pulsating game. Just when it looked like extra time would again be needed Bassett broke up a Binfield attack and won a corner of their own. From the corner centre-back Nathan Hawkins rose highest to head powerfully into the Binfield net for the 7th goal of the night. The closing moments were tense but the youngsters held out against the more experienced Binfield side and secure that precious win and prize money. So it is the Royal town of Wootton Bassett who will make that trip to Windsor. Both sides were applauded off the pitch at the end. It had been a cracking game witnessed by the Chairman of the Hellenic League who commented that the game had been a credit to the Uhlsport Hellenic League.
Man-of-the Match - Harvey Scholes On the night when there were 14 heroes in blue shirts it was two goal Harvey who shone the brightest.
Credit: Mark Smedley
Last modified on Thursday 10th September 2015 at 02:19
Harvey Scholes (2), Dan Bailey, Nathan Hawkins