Ryan Withers, Steve Yeardley
Second half goals from Steve Yeardley and Ryan Withers sealed a 2-1, come from behind victory for Royal Wootton Bassett Town against Woodley United.
Royal Wootton Bassett Town fought back from a 1-0 half time deficit to triumph 2-1 against Woodley United and seal an important, if scrappily earned, three points.
After two differing, yet equally chastening defeats in the past week, it was imperative for Rich Hunter's side to return to winning ways at home against a Woodley side who have had their difficulties adjusting to Hellenic League Premier Division football.
And they did so the hard way. Bassett's first half performance was a below-par one, and they deservedly trailed at the break, being fortunate not to be behind by more than Callum Samuel-Harman's 26th minute goal.
However, after the restart, Bassett's display was an accomplished one. Adapting their style of play to better take advantage of centre forward Lewis Waldon's gifts, they spent the period hammering away at the Woodley defence.
Ultimately, their resistance was broken as Steve Yeardley pounced to equalise with quarter of an hour to go. Substitute Ryan Withers then fired the home side in front three minutes later, with the youngster's well-taken goal proving to be the winner.
Playing with Haydon Richardson as a lone striker, Woodley had set themselves up to try and exploit Bassett on the break. It was a tactic that paid dividends during the opening period, with their goal coming from a counter attack, and other, great openings emerging as a result of catching Bassett with too many men committed forward.
Both 'keepers were brought into action early, with Dan Lawrence equal to a Jaydyn Englefield effort, and Alex Read forced to turn a powerful Sam Collier strike around the post.
But the visitors were to establish the upper hand. After Bassett wasted a free kick deep in opposition territory, Woodley quickly switched play to the other end of the field. A through ball was played to Englefield, who had been played onside, and he sought to slot in after rounding Lawrence, but Mason Hathaway was on hand to hack away off the line.
A similar counter soon delivered Woodley success. The direction of play was switched after an attempted cut back from Harvey Scholes was intercepted. Breaking through Samuel-Harman, the wide man shifted inside from the left before playing an intricate give-and-go with Englefield on the edge of the area and coolly placing into the corner past an exposed Lawrence.
Another breakaway three minutes later almost delivered a second, but Lawrence's assured save made sure that Englefield's low drive from the edge of the box won Woodley nothing more than a corner.
Bassett, guilty of overplaying deep in their own territory throughout the half, were unable to create much in response. Scholes shot over from outside the area, while Waldon blazed over from an extremely tight angle. However, their best opportunity came courtesy of a speculative, fizzing shot from range from Dale Richards. Struck well after taking an awkward bounce, his strike beat Read but found the outside of the post.
Lawrence's reactions were then tested again when he kept out Englefield's shot on the turn after he had received a short free kick from Ashley Ledger.
Hunter's team were much improved following the restart, though they were lucky to see substitute Marvin Hinds head over when unmarked from ten yards early on.
However, play was largely centred upon Woodley's half.
A towering Tony Joyce cross almost set up Waldon for the equaliser, but his delivery was narrowly out of reach of the forward, who was only able to stab wide from twelve yards.
Right back Joyce played a critical role in Bassett's next chance, which would lead to the hosts' breakthrough. Advancing with the ball, he played a pass inside to Collier, whose powerful 25-yard effort was spilled by Read. Yeardley was quickest to react, bravely pouncing on the rebound and poking home just before the Woodley 'keeper was able to get to the loose ball.
With confidence in their sails, a well-worked move soon put Bassett ahead. Play was switched to Gio Wrona on the right, and he played a clever reverse pass into the path of the overlapping Withers on the left edge of the area. Distancing his man, Withers then curled a fine shot from an awkward angle beyond Read and into the far corner.
There was still plenty of time left in the match though, and Woodley pressed to get back on terms. Hinds saw a deflected effort tipped wide by an initially wrong-footed Lawrence, who did brilliantly to adjust his direction of travel and make the save. And from the resulting corner, an unmarked Ledger saw his side-foot volley blocked.
Bassett were unable to kill the game off too as Scholes was denied by Read smothering at his feet following a surging Waldon run and square pass.
But ultimately the home side held on to deliver a welcome return to winning ways.
Man of the Match: Mason Hathaway – made an important goalline clearance in the first half and was performed assuredly throughout the match at left back.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Saturday 9th December 2017 at 21:39
Ryan Withers, Steve Yeardley