A win for all ages
Saturday 28 December 2019 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 30 December 2019 at 10:05)
Royal Wootton Bassett Town saw out 2019 with an impressive 4-2 triumph against Brimscombe and Thrupp.
Gerard Buxton Sports Ground, 28th December 2019
Experience and youth combined to ensure Royal Wootton Bassett Town saw out the decade with victory as Sam Collier's team recorded a fourth win in five Hellenic League Premier Division games, defeating Brimscombe and Thrupp 4-2.
While Mark Francis led the way with a brace, Bassett's performance was punctuated by the contribution of young and old, youth section product Dan Warre and the club's leading appearance maker Steve Yeardley rounding off the scoring.
Notable contributions came from elsewhere too, Landon Golding providing the shot that struck the bar and fell to Francis to open the scoring after just twelve minutes.
That had followed a frantic opening in which the visitors had created the better opportunities only for Matt Bulman to thwart James Campbell and Jack Smith.
The Bassett shotstopper - a vastly experienced non league campaigner - could do nothing to prevent Campbell from heading in the equaliser after an Ed Major cross midway through the period.
His heroics were welcomed less than two minutes later though as Bulman steered Major's fierce around the post to prevent what would have been a goal of the season candidate.
With the scores level at the break, a moment of genius from Warre ten minutes into the second period restored the hosts' lead. Twisting his way through the Brimscombe defence, Warre produced a fine finish to round off an outstanding individual effort.
However that goal arrived against the run of play. And Bassett's resistance was eventually broken again when Jamie Bremner concerted at the far post with quarter of an hour remaining.
That initiated a hectic finish in which a stroke of luck turned the game in Bassett's favour.
Sam Collier's side were gratefully awarded with a soft penalty for a foul on Gio Wrona and Yeardley kept his composure following a delay in which Jonty Welch was sent off to make it 3-2.
Yeardley himself picked up a second yellow moments after scoring.
Francis then confirmed a vital three points by rounding off a counter.
With Brimscombe seeking to close the gap on Bassett and on a good run of form, a positive result from this fixture, be it a draw, was vital. But recording a victory comes with even greater satisfaction, pulling Bassett away from the lower reaches of the table too.