Bassett outlast Levens to make it two on the bounce

Wednesday 03 April 2019 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 04 April 2019 at 08:59)

Royal Wootton Bassett Town recorded a 2-1 victory away against relegation battling Longlevens in their penultimate Hellenic League Premier Division fixture of the season.

Saw Mills End, 3rd April 2019

Royal Wootton Bassett Town set up the chance to finish their Hellenic League Premier Division campaign with a hat-trick of victories after they saw off Longlevens 2-1 in their penultimate game of the season.

Goals either side of half time from Gio Wrona and Elias Youssef did the damage as Sam Collier's side recorded a deserved triumph against a team they will meet again in three days' time in a quirk of fixture scheduling.

It was a fine result too as, despite their lowly league position, Longlevens have been in good form recently, finding this at seemingly the right time as they seek to battle against the drop.

But Bassett ensured they were second best on this occasion, a dubious second half penalty from Shaun O'Connor not being enough for them to take anything from the game.

The visitors got off to a fast start and had a string of early chances.

After just six minutes Longlevens 'keeper Kane Winman was forced to claw over the bar after a Wrona free kick took a deflection on its route towards goal. Mark James then nearly scored from the resulting corner but his powerful header was cleared off the line by Jonty Welch.

A dipping Wrona volley flew narrowly over on sixteen minutes before he teed up Brad Pagliaroli, who went close. Pagliaroli, scorer of two in the win over Holmer Green on Saturday, followed that up by shaving the bar with a powerful strike.

Finally, on 22 minutes, Bassett got the goal that their early pressure deserved. And it came through the lively Wrona. Linking up well with Pagliaroli, his shot from the edge of the area caught a deflection and found its way past Winman.

Longlevens' best opportunity of the opening period came on the half hour mark when Welch saw a snatched effort almost squirm past Gary Aulsberry. But aside from that the hosts appeared largely toothless.

Their task then got harder two minutes after the restart when Youssef took advantage of a poor clearance from Winman and made no mistake.

With Bassett seemingly in control though, Longlevens got a lifeline ten minutes later when awarded a soft penalty. O'Connor was in no mood to pass that opportunity up either, and he confidently drove the spot kick down the middle.

That set up an exciting finish, with Longlevens forced to throw men forward to try and salvage at least a point.

And on 72 minutes Brad Martin was a whisker away from equalising with a stunning volley from the edge of the area

At the other end, Bassett almost grabbed a third as Ollie Long nearly diverted a Gio Wrona corner into his own net, while Carl Evans headed straight at Winman from the ensuing set piece delivery.

There was still time for some late drama. But unfortunately for Longlevens it resulted in them being reduced to ten men as Luke Kavanagh was dismissed for dissent after his colourful response to receiving a yellow card. Manager Craig Martin joined him in taking an early bath as he was ordered from his dugout.

The teams now go again on Saturday.

For Bassett, it's a chance to make it three wins on the bounce and move past the fifty point mark that they last recorded in 2014-15. And victory will match the record number of points - 52 in 2000-01 - they have recorded in a Hellenic Premier Division campaign.

Meanwhile, for Longlevens it's the first of a crucial final five games as they aim to escape the potential relegation zone.

Plenty to play for then. It therefore should not be a dull end-of-season encounter.

Other Match Reports

Sat 6th Apr 2019 - Longlevens (H)

Wed 3rd Apr 2019 - Longlevens (A)

Sat 30th Mar 2019 - Holmer Green (H)

Sat 23rd Mar 2019 - Ascot United (H)

Sat 16th Mar 2019 - Brimscombe and Thrupp (A)

Sat 2nd Mar 2019 - Ascot United (A)

Sat 16th Feb 2019 - Binfield (H)

Sat 9th Feb 2019 - Abingdon United (A)

Sat 19th Jan 2019 - Wantage Town (H)

Sat 12th Jan 2019 - Ardley United (A)

Sat 29th Dec 2018 - Flackwell Heath (A)

Wed 26th Dec 2018 - Shrivenham (A)

Sat 15th Dec 2018 - Tuffley Rovers (A)

Tue 11th Dec 2018 - Windsor (A)

Fri 7th Dec 2018 - Brimscombe and Thrupp (H)

Sat 1st Dec 2018 - Flackwell Heath (A)

Sat 24th Nov 2018 - Holmer Green (A)

Tue 20th Nov 2018 - Bishop's Cleeve (H)

Sat 17th Nov 2018 - Ardley United (H)

Tue 13th Nov 2018 - Lydney Town (A)

Sat 10th Nov 2018 - Binfield (A)

Mon 5th Nov 2018 - Reading City (A)

Sat 3rd Nov 2018 - Abingdon United (H)

Tue 30th Oct 2018 - Virginia Water (H)

Sat 20th Oct 2018 - Brackley Town Saints (H)

Tue 16th Oct 2018 - Westbury United (H)

Sat 13th Oct 2018 - Reading City (H)

Sat 6th Oct 2018 - Wantage Town (A)

Sat 29th Sep 2018 - Tuffley Rovers (A)

Sat 22nd Sep 2018 - Brackley Town Saints (A)

Tue 18th Sep 2018 - Lydney Town (H)

Sat 15th Sep 2018 - Bashley (H)

Tue 11th Sep 2018 - Virginia Water (A)

Sat 8th Sep 2018 - Flackwell Heath (H)

Tue 4th Sep 2018 - Lydney Town (A)

Sat 1st Sep 2018 - Windsor (H)

Mon 27th Aug 2018 - Shrivenham (H)

Sat 25th Aug 2018 - Lydney Town (H)

Tue 21st Aug 2018 - Fairford Town (A)

Sat 18th Aug 2018 - Windsor (A)

Tue 14th Aug 2018 - Bishop's Cleeve (A)

Sat 11th Aug 2018 - Leighton Town (A)

Tue 7th Aug 2018 - Fairford Town (H)

Sat 4th Aug 2018 - Tuffley Rovers (H)