Clinical finishing condemns Bassett
Saturday 03 February 2018 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 04 February 2018 at 10:18)
A 3-1 home loss against Brimscombe and Thrupp made it seven losses in a row for Royal Wootton Bassett Town.
Gerard Buxton Sports Ground, 3rd February 2017
Royal Wootton Bassett Town racked up a seventh defeat in a row as a clinical display of finishing from visitors Brimscombe and Thrupp condemned Sam Collier's team to a 3-1 defeat.
While the loss meant that their miserable run of form continued, there were positives for Bassett's interim manager to take from the game as his side created enough chances to be in with a realistic shot of taking a share of the spoils.
But a lack of composure in front of goal coupled with the visitors' fine finishing put paid to those hopes.
The Gloucestershire outfit were two goals to the good at the break thanks to Harrison Reeves' precise drive and a fine curling effort from Ollie Pitt. Both teams then struck the woodwork in the opening minutes of the second period, before Sam Blackie fired in on the turn to further extend Brimscombe's advantage. Lewis Waldon managed an instant reply, but Bassett were unable to claw their way back into the game afterwards.
And that would have left Collier frustrated given how vulnerable Brimscombe's shaky defence appeared against the pace of the hosts' forward trio of Lewis Waldon, Shane Hibbert and Ryan Withers.
Waldon, in particular, caused them a great deal of difficulty and should perhaps have put Bassett in front on ten minutes when he chased down Gio Wrona's towering ball over the back of the defence in the left corner. After gaining possession, Waldon cut inside, putting Chris Greenhough on his backside in the process, but seemed to rush his shot as he blasted over.
How Bassett needed that to have been a goal. Particularly as seven minutes later, Brimscombe provided the first instalment of their finishing masterclass. The opening goal of the game stemmed largely from Bassett's failure to clear their lines, and a quick ball in over the top and slip on the slick surface from Wrona was enough to give Reeves the time he needed to steady himself and arrow an emphatic strike beyond Dan Lawrence.
The goal didn't really affect the balance of the contest though as the sides appeared relatively evenly matched. Brimscombe were vibrant and tough to contain going forward, yet remained susceptible at the back.
And another ball in behind them presented Waldon with another chance on the half hour mark. This time collecting possession in the right corner, the forward danced past Chris Pates before seeking to squeeze a shot beyond Ashley Gale from a tight angle, which the visiting 'keeper was able to repel.
A sense of déjà vu soon befell Bassett as Brimscombe replied six minutes later with their second. This time they punished Bassett on the break, with a through ball played for Pitt to race onto in the left corner before the forward steered a delightful curler into the top right corner from the left edge of the area.
Their advantage could even have been three going into the break but an unmarked Reeves snatched at a header from Nathan Marks' cross to the far post moments after Hibbert had fired over at the other end following a poor defensive clearance.
Bassett were thankful that the diminutive midfielder had failed to find the target, with the two-goal deficit something they still had a chance of overturning.
But that meant they would need to take the game to Brimscombe, making themselves more exposed defensively.
That almost cost them just two minutes after the restart, a give-and-go between Blackie and Pitt opening them up before the former found the outside of the post with his shot.
Following a fine diving save from Lawrence to keep out a Pitt free kick, Bassett launched a counter of their own, which led to them hitting the woodwork as Waldon, played in by Callum Wright, went for power over placement.
Shortly after, Bassett's profligacy was punished for a third time. Sloppy defending cost them on this occasion. A Pitt right-wing free kick evaded all in the box, but Pates was able to salvage possession in the left corner. Under little pressure, he recycled the ball, which fell for Blackie, who had all the time in the world to turn and easily pick out the bottom left corner.
A glimmer of hope arrived within two minutes as Wrona's pass split the Brimscombe defence and Waldon coolly slotted past Gale.
Yet for all the additional men they threw forward and pressure they sought to apply, that was to be their lot. Indeed, they were unable to register another shot on target the rest of the way, the best they managed coming through Hibbert, who directed a low 20-yard strike just wide, and Withers, who planted a header from a Tony Joyce cross inches over the bar.
Fortunately, further punishment was not forthcoming either, though Reeves did twice narrowly pass up opportunities to extend his haul for the afternoon in the closing stages.
Man of the Match: Lewis Waldon - took his goal well and proved difficult for Brimscombe to contain throughout the game.