Steve Olphert, Sam Packer
A late Steve Olphert penalty secured Royal Wootton Bassett Town a hard earned point as they drew 2-2 away against Tuffley Rovers.
Royal Wootton Bassett Town don't seem to do uneventful.
For a third straight game Paul Braithwaite's team finished with less than eleven men, while for the second successive contest Steve Yeardley was forced to play the majority of the match in goal. However, despite facing that level of adversity once more, they still came away with a point as goals from Sam Packer and then, in the final minute, Steve Olphert pegged back Tuffley Rovers, who had twice taken the lead.
It was the first meeting between the teams in over ten years and it was an eventful one. While Tuffley began the evening just two places off the basement of the Hellenic League Premier Division, they were certainly not going to be easy pickings for Bassett, especially so given six of their opening nine league games had been decided by a single goal, with one draw to add to that string of closely fought battles.
Tuffley were the team who started best and, shortly after Warren Mann's cross was almost converted by veteran forward Shayne Bradley, Brett James put them ahead with a low shot into the far corner following a forceful run inside from the wing.
Sluggish in the opening period, Bassett's predicament worsened when 'keeper Curtis Meare, sent off on Saturday, was forced off with a shouder injury, requiring Yeardley to again don the gloves.
Yet they were able to survive without conceding again until the break and were in the ascendancy at the start of the second period.
That soon led to an equaliser, scored in some style by Sam Packer from the right edge of the box.
Chances to grab the lead followed, with Steve Robertson hitting just past the post, and Packer fizzing a ball across the face of goal.
But, against the run of play, it was the hosts who restored their advantage as Marcus Foxwell's low drive from range crept in past Yeardley at the near post.
Bassett searched desperately for a second equaliser, and Hawkins hit the bar before Dale Richards missed with a header from three yards out.
Eventually a handball in the box as the game entered its dying stages provided them the perfect opportunity and, ice cold from twelve yards, Olphert restored parity.
The action wasn't yet over though and Bassett were forced to see out the final moments with ten men after Hawkins received a second yellow card.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Tuesday 29th September 2015 at 22:02
Steve Olphert, Sam Packer