Late drama as comeback takes Ladies to the top
Sunday 01 December 2019 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 03 December 2019 at 08:49)
Hayley Huckin headed what proved to be the winning goal with five minutes remaining as Royal Wootton Bassett Town Ladies came from behind to defeat Middlezoy Rovers 3-2 in a dramatic contest at the Gerard Buxton Sports Ground.
The result moves Bassett into first place in the South West Regional Women's Football League Premier Division with a three point lead over Callington Town.
Trailing 2-1 at the break, Huckin had earlier scored from the spot to draw Bassett level before her delicate header just creeped over the line to secure another win for her side.
The match was a real test of character for Bassett again a Middlezoy side who themselves have enjoyed a good start to their campaign.
And the visitors had the first opportunity of the game in only the second minute when Ellie Orritt forced Abi Footner to turn the ball around the post.
After that early scare, a tight battle ensued. Eventually though, Bassett broke the deadlock as Lauren Kayll seized on a defensive slip and produced a shot that proved too powerful for Lindsay Rogers in the Middlezoy goal.
Footner saved from Demi Reading's long range strike before Kayll looped a shot just over the bar and Madeline Elliott headed a Laura Jefferies corner narrowly off target at the other end.
Despite going into the break trailing, Middlezoy got off to a flyer in the second half, scoring twice in four minutes to take the lead.
Reading got them both, rounding off a swift counter after Bassett had lost possession high up the pitch and then tapping in after Footner failed to claim the ball.
Their lead last all of five minutes though as Bassett got back on level terms. The decision to award a penalty for a foul on Kayll was a relatively controversial one, there being a delay as the referee thought about their decision. Once awarded, Huckin held her never, producing an effort that Rogers got a strong hand to but was unable to keep out.
Both teams pushed for a decisive third. Lisa Coe shot over for Bassett, while Rogers denied Kayll, saving with her face after a corner fell to the Bassett forward. Meanwhile for Middlezoy Georgia Coles fired the wrong side of the bar from range before Footner saved to deny Reading her hat trick.
Then with time running down Coe thought she had grabbed the vital goal, but her shot after gambling on a Laura Jefferies delivery was twice prevented from going over the line thanks to desperate defending from the Middlezoy 'keeper and defender.
The resulting corner would not be kept out though. Huckin got her head to an outstanding Kayll delivery and the ball crept between the line of Middlezoy defenders stationed on the line.
Footner was then forced to make a save in injury time to preserve three points that Bassett, somehow, had managed to salvage.
It's a result that sets things up perfectly for next week's clash of the table toppers away at Callington - who Bassett leapfrogged into top spot following their loss at Bishops Lydeard.