Dan Bailey (2)
Royal Wootton Bassett Town's season got off to a losing start as forward Sam Collier came back to punish his former team by grabbing the winner for Carterton in their 3-2 victory.
Royal Wootton Bassett Town know all about how reliable a goalscorer Sam Collier can be. Over the course of two and a bit seasons with the club, he bagged more than fifty goals, helping fire Bassett to promotion over the course of the 2009/10 campaign.
They were reminded of his clinical nature in front of goal again in their 2016/17 opener. However, rather than celebrate his 78th minute strike, Bassett were left to nurse the pain it inflicted as the goal secured a 3-2 victory for his new club Carterton.
Doubling the frustration for the hosts was the fact it came shortly after a stunning Corey Forbes free kick had got Carterton back on level terms in a game which Bassett seemed primed to go on and win.
At the break, Paul Braithwaite's team were 2-1 in front and they then had a fantastic chance to stretch that advantage moments after the restart when TJ Bohane was presented with a golden opportunity in front of goal which was squandered.
Dan Bailey, scorer of both goals for Bassett, came close later in the half, narrowly missing with a shot taken with the outside of his foot.
Had either of those chances been taken, Division One West champions Carterton, who certainly impressed, would have likely gone home empty handed.
Instead they took full advantage of their reprieve, Forbes and Collier scoring two finely taken goals to turn the game around.
They helped punctuate an evening of quality finishing.
For Bailey's pair, which arrived in the 9th and 42nd minutes, the midfielder provided the finishing touch to two flowing moves that Bohane played a central part in.
Meanwhile, Rob Johnson, whose goal sandwiched Bailey's efforts, completed an incisive counter after Jon Davoile had been caught on the ball in the centre of the park.
Bassett's performance did show plenty of promise. Alas, there was to be no reward.
Commenting after the game, Bassett assistant manager Chris Green was in a reflective mood.
"It's disappointing to lose the game to three avoidable goals," he said. "Credit to Carterton, they have a way of playing, and did what they needed to for periods of the second half. We'll take some positives out of the game, and if we can stop the individual errors then we'll win games."
Looking ahead from the result, Green added: "Paul and I, and the rest of the management team and those supporting us, have worked hard putting together a strong squad this year. Built around a core of players from the last couple of seasons, many of who are local lads with strong ties to the club, we've added good players from the Swindon area that have great experience playing at this level, again some of which also have previous links to Bassett."
"The committee have done a fantastic job providing such a good facility, and we are looking forward to their continued support as we aim to push on this season and next. We'll move on from this first defeat and regroup for Saturday, in what we know will be a tough game away at Andover."
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Thursday 4th August 2016 at 20:45
Dan Bailey (2)