Royal Wootton Bassett Town fell to a 3-1 home defeat against league leaders Brackley Town Saints.
Royal Wootton Bassett Town's inconsistent form continued as they were well beaten 3-1 at home by early Hellenic League Premier Division leaders Brackley Town Saints.
Sam Collier's team were punished for a first half performance in which they failed to match their impressive visitors, and a pair of mistakes in a matter of minutes were duly punished to put Brackley firmly in control of the match.
TJ Bohane restored hope for his side with a penalty on the half hour mark to halve the deficit. But Bassett were unable to find a way of unlocking the Brackley defence again, with the Saints effectively slowing down the pace of the game in the second period. And they would go on to finish the scoring deep into injury time.
Demonstrating extreme confidence in possession and with players across the pitch making intelligent runs off the ball, it was clear to see from the opening whistle why Brackley currently find themselves in the position they are in.
And the threat they posed was evident from as early as the third minute when Brackley, casually passing along their back line, lulled Bassett into a trap, with one ball over the top beating the defence. Ryan Knight found himself in behind a fired a powerful shot that crashed off the crossbar from the edge of the area. The rebound then fell for Charlie Kille, but he narrowly missed the target.
The Saints eventually went ahead after twenty minutes.
Drawing Bassett out of their shape, a pass was played into the left channel for an unmarked Knight to run onto. 'Keeper Charlie McCready then hesitated when deciding whether to try and beat the forward to the ball and that impacted upon his positioning when trying to gather Knight's cross. Unable to catch it, he could only tip into the path of James Hammond, who bundled in from close range.
Almost immediately the lead was doubled. This time a switch of play caught out both Dale Richards and Brad Pagliaroli, allowing right back Alex Stott to nip in and seize possession before burying a firm drive into the bottom left corner from fifteen yards.
It was a deserved lead for the visitors and the home side were in danger of being out of the game before the half time whistle arrived.
However, they were handed a lifeline on 32 minutes when Brackley centre half Joe Ward was penalised for a push in the box on Steve Yeardley while challenging for Pagliaroli's inswinging corner. Bohane then confidently dispatched the spot kick, sending Ali Worby the wrong way
Still, Kille almost restored Brackley's two goal advantage shortly before the interval when he latched onto a through ball and found a way beyond Dan Cole and McCready. However, in a crowded penalty area, he was unable to properly get off his shot and the ball was scrambled away.
To their credit, Bassett were much improved after the break. But Brackley continued to control possession and the game's tempo.
That resulted in a cagey battle, with neither team able to unlock the other's defence until after the hour mark.
A counter for the visitors resulted in James Watts skewing over from the edge of the box before Pagliaroli curled straight into the hands of Worby after good hold up play from Bohane.
With quarter of an hour remaining, a Bohane cross wasn't cleared and dropped for Iggy Ilott, but from a tight angle the midfielder could only blaze over.
Another Brackley break then resulted in Hammond steering over before Bohane created a further opportunity at the other end for substitute Rob Lincoln. However, after cutting inside onto his right foot, he saw his effort parried at the near post.
That would be the last opening Bassett mustered. And, deep into injury time, Kille would well and truly kill off the game, tapping in on the rebound after McCready had kept out Chris Jordan's initial low shot.
Man of the match: TJ Bohane – expertly put away his penalty and was instrumental in creating the few chances Bassett were able to fashion during the game. As usual, the forward held the ball up well and was willing to get stuck in.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Sunday 21st October 2018 at 10:39