Bassett Lodge their eighth straight win
Tuesday 03 October 2017 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 03 October 2017 at 23:04)
Ben Lodge's goal twelve minutes from time delivered Royal Wootton Bassett Town's eighth straight victory as they edged out ten man Windsor 1-0.
Stag Meadow, 3rd October 2017
For Royal Wootton Bassett Town little can go wrong at the moment.
They now have eight straight wins in all competitions, a run which has seen them amass nineteen goals, while conceding just two as the perfect balance between defence and attack appears to have been struck.
Their latest triumph came as a result of another outstanding display. Having been held to a 1-1 draw by Windsor at home on an afternoon when they could be considered lucky to have taken away a point, Rich Hunter's team knew they would be in for a battle in the return fixture in Berkshire.
And they were more than ready for the occasion.
Defensively, Bassett were superb, holding firm against a troublesome Windsor attack. At the other end, meanwhile, the visitors posed a threat of their own. Though that would only yield one goal, it was enough to seal another win as Ben Lodge's 78th minute strike proved decisive.
The first was a real lively affair with action coming thick and fast at both ends.
There was an opportunity in the opening seconds for Bassett, which fell to Harvey Scholes after the hosts failed to clear but Hugo Sobte was able to hold the attempted lob.
Bassett were having the better of the early exchanges, and both Adam Corcoran and Sam Collier had efforts blocked before Windsor came close for the first time as Barry Hayles' effort from Keiron Knight's knock down shaved the outside of the post.
The ex-Fulham striker - a physical presence as always - was then booked for an apparent arm in the face of Kieran Diaz-Benitez. The importance of that caution was to be apparent later, but there was to be immediate danger for Windsor from the free kick as Collier steered a shot towards the top right hand corner, which Sobte did well to divert over the crossbar.
His opposite number was soon called into action, and Dan Lawrence proved equally up to the task, clawing away Knight's low shot before batting Jon Case's troublesome cross away to safety.
His third save of the game proved his best so far. Hayley connected well with a half volley from the edge of the area and, at full stretch, the young Bassett stopper tip over. Another powerful shot, this time from Paul Coyne, tested his reactions once more, though - again - Lawrence was able to make the stop.
From the resulting corner, there was a period of panic in the box, with Windsor striking the woodwork for the third time in the match.
Finally some respite arrived for Bassett. After seizing upon sloppy play from full back Haydon Clack, Collier was presented with an opening on goal from an advantageous position, but could only fire straight at Sobte.
The teams then traded chances before the break as Clack scuffed a shot wide following Knight's set-up play before Sam Packer also failed to locate the target after good combination play with Scholes.
Packer had an opportunity early after the restart; after beating two men, he struck at goal, forcing Sobte to save at his near post.
Chances early in the second period were otherwise rare, with the intensity of the first half appearing to have caught up with the players.
A Packer header at the far post did force Sobte to be alert before the hour, but the main action was taking place in the referee's notebook.
And midway through the half the home side were reduced to ten men when Hayles was adjudged to have caught Corcoran late and received his second yellow of the game.
Bassett would end up taking full advantage of the extra man with the clock winding down. Following a quick counter attack Packer, who produced another brilliant display, delivered a cross from the right, which Lodge gambled to meet at the far post and divert in.
Windsor's reaction to the goal was to throw an extra man on up front as the experienced Ricardo Cannon entered the fray up front. He could little damage though, his best chance coming when he headed wide from a corner.
They ultimately found no way past Bassett's defence and the visitors could ultimately have doubled their margin of victory but the home custodian Sobte was equal to Callum Wright's attempt to find the top corner.