Royal Wootton Bassett Town suffered their first defeat of the season as they were beaten 5-1 by Bishop's Cleeve.
Royal Wootton Bassett Town were forced to taste defeat for the first time this season as they were beaten 5-1 by a dynamic Bishop's Cleeve outfit.
The Gloucestershire side, who Bassett were playing for the first time in over thirteen years, appear to have quickly bounced back from the pain of relegation from the Southern League, and there has so far been no evidence that they are experiencing a hangover from that disappointment.
Bishop's Cleeve attack, which had scored ten times in their three previous outings, proved too hot for Bassett to handle, with Elliot Kennedy scoring a hat trick and former Longlevens frontman Brad Martin grabbing a brace.
They had Bassett under pressure from the start and were ahead with under quarter of an hour gone, Kennedy making sure of things after Jack Watts had beaten the onrushing Alex Bowers with a lobbed effort.
The hosts then doubled their advantage on the half hour mark. This time Kennedy played the role of provider, bursting down the left wing before delivering a cross which Martin headed in.
Bowers was forced to save from both Watts and Michael Ford shortly afterwards, though Bassett finally came close on the stroke of half time when Matt Bennett's attempted lob was snuffed out.
To their credit, Sam Collier's side emerged for the second half full of fight and twice had great chances to get back into the game. However, Bennett could only find the side netting before strike partner Brad Pagliaroli skewed wide when through one-on-one with Lewis Clayton.
Those missed opportunities proved doubly costly when Kennedy seized on a misplaced pass and made no mistake when presented with just Bowers to beat.
Bassett though snatched the faintest of lifelines with twenty minutes remaining as Josh Shama took advantage of a slip from the Cleeve defence and produced a cool finish.
But any hopes of what would have been a miraculous comeback were dashed by two further Cleeve goals.
Martin scored his team's fourth, finding the net after Jordan Staten headed an Adam Mace cross into the prolific forward's path.
Then in stoppage time Kennedy completed his hat trick with the goal of the night, firing into the top left corner.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Wednesday 15th August 2018 at 09:58