Dave Bampton, TJ Bohane
Royal Wootton Bassett Town had to settle for a fourth league draw of the season as they shared four goals with Holmer Green in an eventful final match before lockdown at the Gerard Buxton Sports Ground.
Sam Collier's side endured a dreadful start to their evening, falling into an early 2-0 deficit. However, they eventually clawed their way back to parity thanks to goals from Dave Bampton and TJ Bohane and had their Buckinghamshire visitors on the ropes for a large portion of the match. Still though, Bassett were unable to record their first Hellenic League Premier Division win of the season after Bohane saw a last minute penalty saved by visiting 'keeper Sam Butcher.
Rooted at the foot of the table when the 2019-20 campaign was brought to an early end, Holmer Green have enjoyed a new lease of life this season. Indeed, the Buckinghamshire outfit came into the game having won four of their opening eight matches - a feat that meant they had already exceeded the tally of points that they amassed in 26 games last time out.
And their early ruthlessness on a cold evening in Wiltshire helped show why they have turned that corner.
With less than four minutes on the clock Eddie Eghwrudje opened the scoring with a stunning 25-yard effort that flew into the top corner.
Moments later, their captain Dean Munday headed a second, which Bassett 'keeper Harrison Ellis will perhaps feel he could have dealt with better.
Bassett were able to grab a goal back with around quarter of an hour to play in the opening period as midfielder Bampton was able to scramble the ball home in a congested penalty area.
Bohane was then denied by the crossbar before Bassett upped the pressure following the restart.
Bohane grabbed an equaliser early in the second period, scoring courtesy of a superb strike following great pressing and retrieval work from strike partner Kyle Tooze and winger Jack Stirland.
More excellent effort from Tooze then created another opportunity for Bohane, who struck just over before the same played was denied by a fine save from Butcher when one-on-one.
At the other end, Ellis was forced to make a finger tip save to keep the scores level.
But the action returned to the other end as Stirland twice threatened. First he shot just wide from the edge of the box before a low drive across the six yard box only needed a touch to be diverted home.
Then as time wound down Bassett were awarded what was a rather soft penalty. But it would be Holmer Green 'keeper Butcher who played the hero. Not for the first time on the night, he pulled off a fine save to deny Bohane and ensure the spoils were shared.
Despite the nightmare start and agonising end to the match, there were plenty signs of promise for Bassett to take from the match. And it is surely going to be the case that whenever the season resumes (hopefully in no longer than a month's time), Collier's side will kick-start their league campaign and match the positive form they have shown on the cup front in the opening two months of the season.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Wednesday 4th November 2020 at 08:59
Dave Bampton, TJ Bohane