Steve Robertson (2)
Steve Robertson's stoppage time equaliser and extra time stunner enabled Royal Wootton Bassett Town to come back and record a 2-1 Supplementary Cup first round victory against Woodley United.
Staring at a second elimination from a cup competition at the hands of a Hellenic League Division One East side square in the face, sharpshooting Steve Robertson stepped forward to rescue Royal Wootton Bassett Town and guide them to an eventual 2-1 Supplementary Cup first round victory after extra time against Woodley United.
Trailing ever since Charlie Oakley's finely taken fifth minute opener, Bassett had encountered stiff resistance from a well-organised, stingy Woodley defence, which has conceded less than a goal a game in league contests so far this season.
However, with one thunderous swing of his left boot in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Robertson brought his side back level to force an extra half hour's play.
Then, in the first period of extra time, a sublime first touch with his back to goal allowed Robertson not only to bring Dan Comer's cross under control, but also forge a path in behind the visitors' back line before he calmly slotted into the corner for what proved to be the winner.
Prior to that, Bassett's leading marksman had cut a frustrated figure, with his team unable to conjure up any real meaningful chance in front of a goal.
But Robertson is a player who has the quality to turn a game in an instant – even on what are, by his standards, quiet days. And that is exactly what he did on this occasion, much to the delight of his boss Rich Hunter.
His goals have been vital to Bassett's fortunes over the past two and a half seasons, and it is hoped his late contribution against Woodley can spark a deep run in this competition.
Saying that, had it not been for the performance of 'keeper Curtis Meare throughout the ninety minutes preceding Bassett's equaliser, then they would certainly have been mulling another exit against lower level opponents.
The Bassett shotstopper, who has been in excellent form throughout the campaign, had another great day between the posts, pulling off a series of important saves and brave claims to ensure that the deficit his team faced was kept to a minimum.
He could well have done more to keep out Oakley's opener. But more at fault was slack marking from those in front of him, which allowed the Woodley frontman to receive a throw in on the left edge of the area without a marker in sight.
Afforded way too much time, Oakley was able to arrow a fierce drive past Meare and into the bottom right corner, the ball taking an awkward bounce just in front of the 'keeper which did enough to beat him.
Along with a goalline block from Steve Yeardley, Meare was on hand to deny Woodley a second in the game's eighth minute. Danny Horscroft headed onto the bar after Bassett had failed to clear. Then, Yeardley threw himself in the way of Oakley's follow up before Meare sprung to his right to prevent the still loose ball from crossing the line.
With eighteen minutes elapsed, Meare saved with his chest to keep Horscroft's powerful drive out before, on the half hour mark, he batted away Carl Prestige's low curler after the midfielder had dispossessed Liam Edmondson on the edge of the box.
Bassett had been slow out of the blocks and stifled by Woodley's sharp pressing game. After the restart the hosts did come into the game more, but that did not translate into James McKimm being tested in the Woodley goal.
Instead, it was his opposite number who continued to be brought into action.
Just before the hour, Greg Beckett cut in from the left before feeding pass into the feet of Horscroft, who rolled Edmondson before shooting on the turn from close range only to see Meare pull off another fine parry.
The 'keeper then diverted Oakley's deft touch from Beckett's low left-wing cross around the right post.
Bassett finally had an opening eleven minutes before the end when Jamie Richards attempted shot broke for Dale Richards in the area. Despite having just McKimm in front of him, he was unable to get a shot off as Idris Kamara – perhaps with the help of a nudge on the Bassett winger – recovered to make a saving tackle.
It therefore appeared that the home side's desperate search for a goal was to prove in vain. However, deep into injury time, Edmondson delivered a towering cross from the left, which Dale Richards, rising highest at the far post, redirected into the path of Robertson, who hammered home into the bottom corner with a high-quality, lethal finish.
Midway through the opening period of extra time, substitute Dave Morgan stung Meare's palms with an effort from distance.
But two minutes later, the game was to be decided in some style at the other end courtesy of Robertson's magic.
Man of the Match: Curtis Meare – while he may have felt he could have done better to keep out the shot that put Woodley ahead, the Bassett 'keeper was otherwise outstanding again. He made a number of vital, high calibre saves, was assured when coming to claim the ball from multiple corners and crosses and made all the right decisions when leaving his line to help snuff out any additional danger.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Saturday 28th January 2017 at 22:18
Steve Robertson (2)