Rovers return from the brink to stun throwaway Bassett
Wednesday 06 December 2017 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 06 December 2017 at 21:59)
Royal Wootton Bassett Town twice saw leads slip through their hands before ultimately succumbing to two late goals and a 4-3 home defeat against Tuffley Rovers.
Gerard Buxton Sports Ground, 6th December 2017
There seems no sign of Royal Wootton Bassett Town's recent defensive woes abating. Not after a stunning 4-3 home loss against Tuffley Rovers in which the Gloucestershire side twice came from behind.
As entertaining a game as it was for the neutral, it was excruciating for Bassett.
After the opening exchanges were evenly matched, the home side jumped into a two goal advantage courtesy of Rory Sproule's quickfire double. After almost converting from a Harvey Scholes cross, he made amends second later. Within five minutes he completed his brace, reacting fastest to a loose ball after Gio Wrona's shot was deflected into his path.
The lead was halved before the break though when Shayne Bradley headed home from Warren Mann's cross. And the visitors then thought they had equalised before the break only to have a goal disallowed.
Tuffley had a string of half chances at the start of the second period, and their persistence eventually paid off when Dan Lawrence could only parry a Mann shot into the path of Kieran Alder, who fired the rebound in on the turn from close range to level things up again.
However, as soon as they had scored, Tuffley were back behind, an own goal restoring Bassett's lead.
A pair of assured Lawrence saves kept out a Bradley free kick and long range drive from Sam Hill, and it appeared as though the home side were on course to pick up a hard earned three points.
Alex O'Leary's freak goal direct from a corner in the game's final minute put paid to those thoughts.
And there was still time for more drama as Mann thrashed a fine effort into the top corner.
Defeat had been snatched from the jaws of victory.