First half blitz sends Bassett into seventh heaven
Wednesday 29 November 2017 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 30 November 2017 at 15:51)
Royal Wootton Bassett Town returned to winning ways in the Hellenic League Premier Division in remarkable fashion, recording a 7-3 victory over seventh place Binfield, with six of those goals being racked up before half time.
Gerard Buxton Sports Ground, 29th November 2017
There'll be few games like this one at the Gerard Buxton Sports Ground in years to come, that's for sure.
A stunning, remarkable, mindboggling evening saw Royal Wootton Bassett Town score six first half goals - including three in the opening ten minutes of the game - en route to an amazing 7-3 victory over Binfield, who had come into the game on a seven game unbeaten streak.
Both sides had decent defensive records prior to kick off, while Rich Hunter's team had, if anything, been struggling for goals in the league despite their respectable mid-table position. With Binfield entering the game in seventh place, just five points above Bassett, a close game was what both managers would undoubtedly have been expecting.
Instead what they got was a goalfest which defied belief.
Lewis Waldon, who has proven to be an outstanding discovery, got the party started in the game's opening minute. Racing onto Gio Wrona's hook over the top, which defender Jack Thompson-Wheeler failed to head clear, the forward fired in a superb half volley from twenty yards out that Henry Craven could do little about.
Within minutes the Binfield 'keeper had plucked the ball from the back of his net a further two times. Rory Sproule got both of them. He first beat Craven at his near post from a tight angle after latching onto Steve Yeardley's long ball forward and cutting inside. Second later, Waldon beat the offside trap before squaring to his strike partner, who had a simple tap in to extend the lead further.
After such a frenetic start there was finally a brief period of respite. But it didn't last long.
Midway through the half, Jonny Aitkenhead's ball over the top caused a horrendous mix up between Craven and Gary Smith, which Waldon seized to make it 4-0 before Harvey Scholes got in on the act, producing a neat finish on the turn from Bradley Clark's square pass to make it five seconds later.
While it had been one-way traffic, it was as though every Bassett shot was finding the back of the net.
And though Brad Pagliaroli did pull one back for the visitors, scoring with a powerful left-footed drive, Waldon made sure his side went into the break with a five goal advantage as he completed a hugely deserved hat-trick, heading in at the near post from a Wrona corner on the stroke of half time.
The opening period must have left both managers as shellshocked as one another. Every Bassett touched had turned to gold in as good a 45 minutes of football as they'll ever put together, while for Binfield it was a nightmare of epic proportions.
Their evening got worse on the hour when Scholes slotted home his second, finishing neatly after latching onto a lofted Kai Robinson through ball.
Late goals from Luke Hayden, who finished coolly after beating the offside trap, and Sean Moore, who fired in from the edge of the area after Dan Lawrence was only able to punch away a cross, did restore some level of pride for the visitors, making sure they at least had the final say, while punishing Bassett for having taken their foot off the pedal.
From such a commanding position, you couldn't really blame them for easing up a little though, especially given the packed December schedule that lies ahead of them.
The trick is now to take momentum from what must rank as one of the best victories for the club in many a year, and build upon it.
First though, there's a need to savour a special, special evening.