Alioune Diouf (2)
A 5-2 Extra Preliminary round loss away at Wessex League Premier Division side Andover Town saw Royal Wootton Bassett Town crash out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle.
Royal Wootton Bassett Town's interest in this season's FA Cup was again an altogether brief one after a resounding 5-2 defeat away at Andover Town.
However, while they were eliminated at the first hurdle for the second successive season, any hopes of a cup run this time out were extinguished after all of 38 minutes as Andover's attacking nous totally overwhelmed Bassett. Combining clever movement off the ball with astute passing, the hosts cut through Bassett and jumped into an unassailable three goal lead before the break.
Although looking dangerous when they did attack, Bassett's defensive frailties therefore meant that the efforts of offensive quartet Alioune Diouf, Bradley Clark, Dan Bailey and TJ Bohane were all in vain.
It was Bailey who had the first real chance of the game, heading a TJ Bohane cross over from twelve yards.
However, Andover soon struck the decisive first blow in what had been a relatively evenly matched contest.
England Schoolboy international Adam Grange was the player who struck. He had served notice of the threat he posed just eleven minutes in when he breezed past Steve Yeardley on the left wing and caused panic in the box with a cutback that Danny Urry skewed over.
Then midway through the period he delivered his side the lead. Cutting inside on his favoured right foot, Grange played a short sideway pass to Urry before darting into the box, where he latched onto a lofted return pass and coolly slotted the ball beneath Luke Sanders in the Bassett goal.
Falling a goal behind didn't sap the life out of Bassett as they quickly pressed for an equaliser. Clark's inventiveness twice brought them close to restoring parity. On the half hour mark his neat footwork allowed him to drive into the box, where his left-foot shot forced Jamie Bray to dive low to save.
Minutes later, he lost the attention of two defenders with one single wonderful turn before flashing a cross from the byline across the face of goal where all that was required to steer it in was a simple tap in.
While that pair of opportunities suggested there was still something in the game for Bassett, a quickfire double from the home side put paid to any thoughts that a place in the Preliminary round was a possibility.
Andover's second was more or less a carbon copy of their first. This time Craig Blakeman and Christopher Onoufriou played the give-and-go, with the former firing past Sanders from an angle.
Two minutes later, Liam Gilbert delivered a towering cross from deep on the left, and full back Jamie Richards was caught ball watching, allowing right winger Craig Stanley to ghost in and sidefoot a controlled volley onto the underside of the crossbar and into the back of the net.
Well in front, Andover stretched their advantage further within ten minutes of the restart. Recovering possession inside the Bassett half, they quickly shifted the direction of play. With the visitors' defence unprepared for the counter, Dan Comer felled Grange in the box and Onoufriou swept home from the spot.
A brief Bassett resurgence followed. Diouf headed over from close range as he connected with a dangerous Bohane free kick. The rangy midfielder then went one better, beating Bray to the punch to bundle in following a low Bohane cross.
After Onoufriou blazed over a glorious opportunity at the other end, Diouf grabbed his second, sweeping into an empty net after Bray had fumbled a Richards cross when under pressure from Bohane.
With Andover having used their lead as an excuse to withdraw midfield orchestrator Onoufriou and dangermen Stanley and Grange, Diouf's brace had shifted the balance of play into Bassett's favour.
Yet, any brief flickers of hope that may have emerged when they cut the deficit to two were soon put to bed when Sanders scythed down substitute Shane Lock in the penalty area. Captain Liam Gilbert stepped forward to take his side's second spot kick, and he duly picked out the top right corner.
Five then nearly became six when Alex Docree raced onto a ball over the top and attempted a lob of Sanders. Wheeling off in celebration, Dockree's delight proved to be premature as the ball caromed off the right upright.
Still, his Andover teammates had already inflicted enough damage to ensure comfortable passage through to the next round.
Man of the Match: Alioune Diouf – given the chance to start, the attacking midfielder was the pick of the bunch for Bassett. He netted twice and caused difficulties for the home defence with his height link up play with TJ Bohane.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Sunday 14th August 2016 at 20:11
Alioune Diouf (2)